July 31, 2014

NBA Trade Rumors: Jamison Staying Put?

Antawn JamisonI’ve spent the past couple days trying to operate under the assumption that if the Cavaliers are going to trade for someone, that player is going to be someone whose name we haven’t heard mentioned in trade rumors. So I’ve been scouring team rosters, looking at salaries, looking at performance, reading up on rifts between players, etc. So you know who I found? Nobody. I’ve got nothing. If the Cavs don’t trade for either Antawn Jamison or Troy Murphy, I don’t see an obvious deal that makes sense for the Cavaliers.

So with things circling back around to Jamison or Murphy, I began to really hone in on Jamison and to think about what the future holds. And in doing so, I saw the article by Gene Wang in the Washington Post with these quotes:

“I’m not going anywhere until they let my agent know,” Jamison said. “I got a pretty good relationship with [the Wizards' front office], and all things pointing forward is being here until my contract is over with, so that’s my mind-frame.”

[…]

“I’ve been playing for a while, and I know how rumors get started, trade rumors, this and that nature,” Jamison said, “but those guys have been looking at me in my face, and pretty much everything is staying put.”

Well, ok, then. On one hand, what do you really expect Antawn to say? He’s not going to sit there and blast Washington and say he wants out no matter what. He’s going to do and say the right thing, and he’s going to say he would like to stay there. That part doesn’t surprise me. But is the Wizards front office actually telling him they’re not going to move him? That part does surprise me.

I suppose you could make the argument here that just like Antawn, so too are the Wizards going to try to say the right thing and say they want Antawn there. However, from Jamison’s quotes it sure sounds to me like he’s implying that Wiz President Ernie Grunfeld is telling him behind the scenes that he’s not going to be moving him. If Grunfeld was planning on actually trading him, what’s his incentive for telling Antawn otherwise? It doesn’t really add up. I’m starting to think that perhaps there’s more to this idea that Washington really doesn’t want to trade Jamison to Cleveland to help the Cavaliers in any way. I’ve always scoffed at the idea in the past, but now I’m starting to wonder a bit.

Of course, this is all slightly tongue in cheek. Front office executives are professionals and they can’t (or at least shouldn’t) let emotion get in the way of what’s best for the franchise. So in Washington’s case, the more likely reason to keep Jamison is simply that they won’t know if Gilbert Arenas is going to jail and/or for how long until he’s sentenced on March 26, which is well after the February 18th trade deadline.

According to a report in the Associated Press, the Wizards are still considering trying to void Arenas’ contract despite the fact a lot of experts don’t think they will be successful. In a report by Henry Abbott on TrueHoop yesterday, he pointed out that not only will the Wizards have trouble proving legal ground to void Arenas’ deal, but they may even face pressure from the other owners not to pursue this right now so as not to weaken their position come time for collective bargaining in 2011. It’s a complex situation, but the bottom line is that no matter what the Wizards’ best chance of voiding Arenas’ contract will occur if he receives jail time and has to miss mandatory meetings/workouts next season once his suspension is lifted. So from Washington’s standpoint, they are under no obligation and certainly no pressure to trade away guys like Jamison and Butler until they know what the outcome of Arenas’ legal hearing is.

The biggest reason for the Wizards to move Jamison is that he’s a loyal professional who wants to win a title, and Washington has no chance of winning a title any time soon. Antawn Jamison deserves to be traded to a team with a shot at a title. Even if the Wizards miraculously reconcile their differences with Arenas, would it really matter? Lets face it, with Arenas and Jamison the Wizards have won exactly 1 playoff series. That’s it. One. The trio of Arenas-Jamison-Butler has never once made it out of the first round. So here’s a memo to the Wizards…..what you’re doing and what you’ve been trying to do, it’s not working.

Going back to the Gene Wang story in the Washington Post, Jamison even lets out a hint that maybe playing for a title contender might not be such a bad thing:

Published reports suggest the Cleveland Cavaliers are a potential suitor for Jamison and that the asking price is Zydrunas Ilgauskas, J.J. Hickson and a first-round pick.

Playing for the Cavaliers, who reached the Eastern Conference finals last season, would increase Jamison’s odds of winning his first NBA championship. Jamison is in his 12th NBA season, his sixth with the Wizards, and has advanced past the first round just once in five postseason appearances.

“That’s the only thing I think about is winning a title,” Jamison said. “That’s the reason why I’m still playing. That’s the reason why I’m still going hard. It’s the only thing that drives me and pushes me, so it’s the only thing left I have to accomplish, and I’m going to continue to do that.”

It’s hard not to feel for a guy who plays his heart out and just once would like to play for a title being stuck in such a dire situation in Washington and never again being able to make a serious run in the playoffs.

Perhaps Washington feels that if they can void Arenas’ contract that they will then be able to sign a different complimentary piece or two to go along with Jamison, Butler, Haywood, Foye, and Miller. Maybe. But perhaps Arenas wasn’t really the problem on the court. After all, he was leading the team in points and assists. Perhaps they just have a core group of players that just aren’t right for each other. Perhaps it’s time for them to blow this whole thing up and start over.

Of course I have ulterior motives for wanting this to happen. Yes, I want Jamison on the Cavaliers and I would gladly give up the price of Z (assuming buyout), Hickson, and a 1st round pick to acquire Jamison. But none of it matters if both the Wizards and Jamison himself are being truthful. If they’re honest, then it’s starting to sound like Antawn Jamison may not be going anywhere after all. What a shame for all parties involved if that’s the truth.

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(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

  • Oppie

    Hopefully the good showings by JJ over the past week or so will only help the cause and improve our chances of landing Jamison or another big name guy.

    Personally, I’d still rather move Boobie, but that’s not very likely since JJ is more enticing to teams b/c of potential and the shear fact that he’s still only 21.

  • Roosevelt

    Meh. It doesn’t seem like they told him he’s staying. It seems like they told him he’s not going to the Clippers without warning.

    We’re in a climate where the Jazz, a team with playoff hopes, gave up a good young first round talent just to save a couple mil. Teams were prepared to trade legitimate talent before the season even started, in order to save a few bucks.

    The Wizards and their big three are done. It’s one thing to say that they don’t realize it yet, but a respected executive from a traditionally savvy organization is not ignoring common sense because Deshawn Stephenson thinks Lebron is overrated.

  • Eli

    Never underestimate the ability for people in Washington to ignore obvious evidence and make bad decisions.

    *Inside the beltway secrets*

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    #FREEANTAWN

  • AMC

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – if the Wizards don’t trade an aging Jamison and his large deal this year they are INSANE. Then again, this is the team that outbid itself for Arenas in the first place when he had a documented knee injury. Not trading Jamison this season would set that team back another 2 seasons.

  • http://twitter.com/nullster nullster

    #freeantwan

  • dcdawg

    I still don’t see how giving up a young and improving power forward, a 1st round pick and probably the best center in Cavs history for a 33 yr old, SOFT, small forward makes any sense!!! Anyone can average 25/9 on a bad team… We have the best record in the NBA!! Once the back-court gets healthy we are unstoppable. If we trade Z, karma will prevent us from a championship…

  • http://www.msblsim.com boogeyman

    Like I said in a previous discussion the more people talk about Jamison to the Cavaliers the less likely I feel it’s going to happen. All of a sudden just about everyone is saying how he’d be a perfect fit here which will only make it worse when it doesn’t happen and we’re left watching JJ Hickson more. Don’t get me wrong Hickson could very well turn into the kind of player the Cavaliers need right now but this is now, that is then and frankly this franchise can’t afford to wait and hope. This is why I’ve been saying for nearly a year that the Cavaliers need a legitimate starting PF who borders on All-Star abilities.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    OMG KARMA NO!!!! MY NAME IS EARL!!!! ALSO, SHIVA AND ISHVARA ARE ON THEIR WAY TOO WATCH OUT!

  • http://www.msblsim.com boogeyman

    Karma is a you know what!

  • http://www.twitter.com/azv321 Amin

    If Ted Leonsis’s buyout goes through soon, I wouldn’t be surprised if he fires a LOT of people in that organization. Grunfeld, Tapscott… there are a lot of people there that have done their jobs poorly, and trading away all the players isn’t the only thing that should happen for a fresh start.

    So if he cleans house with management, all those promises could go away with them…

    #FreeAntawn

  • Jim

    Dcdawg,

    This team is not unstoppable. No team in the NBA is. It takes one bad matchup to ruin a great season (see last year). We still lack offensive fire power from the 4 (last night notwithstanding) and adding a stetch 4 to play next to Shaq and Lebron would make this team a nightmare offensively. I also disagree Jamison’s numbers are a product of playing for Washington. Anyone who watches them can tell you that he fills up the stat sheet and he always has. He has a 55.5% TS percentage this year, a PER of 19.45, and is shooting 47% overall from the field and 37% from deep, despite seeing a number of doubles right now. Imagine his numbers when he sees nothing but single coverage. I will admit that defensively he leaves something to be desired, but so did Gooden and Brown was able to hide him on that end.

    As for Washington to tell him they aren’t trading him; that’s not unexpected. They are going to try and get the best offer they can. No better way to drive up the price than to act like you won’t trade the guy unless you get a great offer.

  • Harv 21

    “If Grunfeld was planning on actually trading him, what’s his incentive for telling Antawn otherwise?”

    Lots of good reasons. Let’s start with: if his agent blabs he’s on the way out, and other teams know they absolutely intend to dump his salary, the Wiz is in an inferior negotiating position. Or, it would create an even bigger p.r. headache on top of what’s already going on there.

    Antawn wanting a ring is no reason to expect his team will trade him to us or anyone else. If we’re just speculating, it’s safer to follow the money.

    There’s nothing of value in the player’s statement to predict anything. If we’re trying to read tea leaves, maybe look at today’s story about a leaked e-mail by their front office inferring the minority shareholder may not be able to become majority so easily, they may solicit other buyers. A delay in the sale of Polian’s shares may cause a seize up in who’s calling the shots and salary dumping/financial decision-making before the February trade deadline. Maybe. But at least that’s something substantive.

  • http://www.msblsim.com boogeyman

    Maybe Jamison just meant that the Wizards would tell him when/if he was traded does anyone realistically think Jamison wouldn’t want to leave Washington for Cleveland? If he didn’t then perhaps he isn’t the player I thought he was but I doubt it very much.

  • Jake In Ohio City (Natty The Dog)

    stop with Jamison please. He is not the answer. You would give up an up and coming 21 Y/O PF for a guy who is already 2 years into his decline, and will be even worse next season? Use your ***(**** head. Lebron sees Jamison on the roster and knows that he has a front court of 3 old guys who’s better days are well in the past.

    I would leave too.

    We have a great combo with JJ, Andy, and Powe. Maybe one of the best in the NBA already.

    We need a young dynamic SG that puts Parker on the bench, way at the end. ALSO allowing JJ to keep playing and developing his game. Having Z makes up for JJ’s touch on the jumpers this year, and he’ll work on that over the course of the season and off season.

    PLEASE STOP WITH JAMISON. I am beginning to think the best thing that could happen now is for Jamison to get hurt for 4-6 weeks so we just forget about him all together.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    If Jamison shows up and plays lights out, I would like to watch you eat an entire crow.

  • Jake In Ohio City (Natty The Dog)

    I have been saying it for months now. A trade for Jamison means Lebron isn’t staying and they just want to go all in this year.

  • Marcus

    I’d love to have AJ, but it’s probably not going to happen. Assuming that’s the case, I say Cavs should go after Murphy if the Pacers are willing to take Z and buy out his contract. That way we can get Z back in 30 days, gain another big who has an outside shot and is an offensive threat. Granted, TM’s defense is lacking, but he’s never been on a team that emphasized defense. (1-1+1=2). Not sure who we waive (Jackson?). This could be Murphy’s audition to stay once Shaq or Z retire.

  • http://www.msblsim.com boogeyman

    Jake In Ohio City you obviously have a problem discussing this but I’ll take Jamison even at his age and you can have Hickson. The last thing the Cavaliers need is another shooting guard and if you think Varejao, Hickson and Powe (a guy who hasn’t played in a year in a half, a guy coming back from microfracture surgery, a guy who has suffered the same injury twice, a guy who was at best a bench role player in Boston and a guy who had his best games against the Cavaliers) is one of the best frontcourts then I’m sorry you must not watch alot of basketball.

  • Tsunami

    I’m so tired of US not being in a POSITION OF LEVERAGE!

    The only leverage we every had was on Andy Varejao – and using it only ruined the start to our season.

    This is seriously ridiculous. It’s like the Wizards would rather destroy their future than help out their most loyal player.

    Makes me sick.

    I read something a while back that Jerry West got so much flack from other owners and gms after giving away Pau Gasol to the Lakers that no other gm wanted to look like that.

    This is just starting to wear on me. McDyess should have taken the money to play for us (a legit title contender) last year and he didn’t. The Warriors could have gotten more from us for Stephen Jackson than they got. And now no one is willing to deal.

    And whoever thinks we wouldn’t be better if we got Jamison is INSANE. Being “SOFT” is a team mindset, not a player mindset. The only players on the Cavs that are truly not “soft” are Shaq and Delonte – yet the ENTIRE TEAM plays physical.

    You think anyone called Ray Allen or Paul Pierce “physical” before KG got there? get serious.

    Add Jamison to this team, you might not lose a playoff game.

  • dcdawg

    Denny = Jamison Superfan with the Tarheel tat on the shoulder to prove it

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    Well that’s just absurd dcdawg. I already have an OSU tattoo on my wrist. Why would I go and mess up a perfectly good shoulder with foo-foo blue?

  • dcdawg

    Ray Allen and Paul Pierce still aren’t physical post KG.. a team playing better ball than any other in the league and fans still want to blow it up….sad. I’m subject to reading The Post’s sports section and have seen enough of the Wizards to know we don’t want ANY of them… If they deal anyone, it will be Butler

  • dcdawg

    foo foo blue… nice.. hahaha.. I rescind my comment

  • http://lakeeriesoldiers.wordpress.com/ zach

    Cavs don’t need to make any trades. the team is solid right now and it is a group of guys that LeBron obviously likes to play with…
    that being said, if they make a move they should try and pry Al Jefferson away from the T-Wolves. He is a young and beastly PF that would be awesome to team with LeBron in the future. Just sayin’

  • Jake In Ohio City (Natty The Dog)

    Yo Boogerman. I am not saying the Cavs can’t win without Jamison. I am saying its not worth giving up JJ Hickson as a potential all star in the future. JJ is like Lebrons little bro on this team.

    YOU my friend are not very familiar with the business behind the sport. But its ok, I will explain it a bit for you.

    Jamison is pretty old for a professional sport. Lebron is pretty young for his level of play. A guy like Lebron wants to win championships, and looks for the best possible situation. THere is this little thing called a salary cap in the NBA, you know what that is right, its where you can only spend so much money…..ok lets look at it like this…..your parents give you 15 dollars allowance, and you go play video games at the arcade……you can’t go over that 15 dollars…..there you got it now!!!

    Well the cavs spent more than their allowance, and are unable to spend anymore for the future. Get it now….34 y/o Jamison next year isn’t what Lebron views as a running mate for the next 3-4 years. I am sure you are aware that Lebron can pick any team he wants at the end of the season. Why not pick Miami, with Wade and Beasley, Chalmers, and whoever Miami picks up via trades this year. Looks a hell of a lot better than playing with 34, 34, 34, 39 year olds next year. You see, the Cavs need to keep the same talent level, but downgrade in age at 4 positions next year. Generally that will cost about 40 million of cap space, but we have about 6 with the MLE. Back to my point. JJ Hickson and Andy are great at the 4 given we have an athlete at the 2 like Iggy. He provides length and athleticism at the 2 spot. And you are WRONG, we don’t even have 1 SG on this team. Parker is a role player at best, and Delonte is a PG, too small for the 2. So unless there is someone I am missing that is an all star caliber player that plays the 2 and 3 spot not named Lebron……

    So yah…get off your Jamison horse.

    Denny I don’t doubt that Jamison can come here and play balls out this year. He has a shot at a title, why wouldn’t he. But next year, and the following, we will need yet ANOTHER 4 to take his place. So that is why we don’t have Jamison now, because Ferry knows this, and realizes you don’t trade a 21 year old up and coming player for a 33 year old has been.

    People who think Jamison are just obsessed with the name on this team and not what the actual situation down the road. That is what matters.

  • John

    All I can say is wow. Apparently, somebody has some hidden footage of JJ Hickson playing like an allstar that I missed. JJ Hickson hasn’t shown me anything that makes me believe he will be anything other than a role player. Antawn Jamison has basically averaged 19 ppg and 8 rpg for his career–on good teams and bad teams. It’s also funny to hear someone call him soft. Soft as characterized by what? If you define soft as kicking the !@#$ out of us everytime we play the Wizards, then you are right. As Tsunami said, soft is team mindset. How many defensive stalwarts do the Cavaliers have right now? Two, Delonte and Lebron. Mo Williams was FAR from a defensive player when he came. AV gets abused by large power forwards and taken off the dribble by smaller ones–I love his hustle, but he’s no defensive stopper. Big Z…seriously come on. If Antawn Jamison came here, he would buy into the TEAM defensive system that Mike Brown has.

    Yes, Cleveland beat some really good teams, but when the playoffs come around it won’t be so easy. We’ve seen Mo Williams go into shooting slumps before. Who will we depend on to create offense when shots aren’t dropping–and Lebron’s being quadruple teamed? We had the same problem in the playoffs last year. I hope Danny F does something about it this year.

  • John

    First, If the Cavaliers don’t get talent now, they won’t be in a position to get talent for a while. I doubt if Lebron is jumping for joy at the prospect of competing for titles with AV, JJ, and Darnell Jackson (or a gimpy Powe) in the frontcourt.

    Second, I would love to get Iggy for the future, but Jamison is the absolute best fit for a title run now. Iggy brings a taller perimeter defender, but he can’t space the floor–because he’s a streaky shooter. How would the offense run with Iggy, AV, and Shaq on the floor? Not very well. Again, I’d love to have Iggy as a running mate, but Jamison gives the Cavs two solid runs at a title.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    Don’t throw me into a lump sum category and discount my opinion I DO AFTER ALL WRITE FOR A CLEVELAND SPORTS BLOG OF MODERATE IMPORTANCE!!!

    Just because Jamison is 33 this year (and somehow will become 34 next year) doesn’t mean that all of the sudden the wheels will fall off. He’s held up extremely well and is still producing at a high clip. I don’t see why he wouldn’t continue to produce. His potential next season is just as cloudy as JJ – who knows if JJ will actually learn how to catch the ball by then or not.

    I’m not obsessed with the name on his team – but he’s the most realistic chance at getting a contributor IMO. The Wiz HAVE to blow it up. The have to – the team’s going nowhere, as AMC so astutely stated. Situation down the road is as follows: he plays this year, and next year. If he sucks by the third year that he’s here, he’s an expiring contract and is therefore trade bait.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew

    Yep, Denny is spot on. Talk about Jamison’s age all you want, but look at his production:

    2004-05: 19.6 ppg, 07.7 rpg, 43.7 FG%, 34.1 3P%, 16.91 PER, Age 28
    2005-06: 20.5 ppg, 09.3 rpg, 44.2 FG%, 39.4 3P%, 17.78 PER, Age 29
    2006-07: 19.8 ppg, 08.0 rpg, 45.0 FG%, 36.4 3P%, 18.50 PER, Age 30
    2007-08: 21.4 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 43.6 FG%, 33.9 3P%, 20.19 PER, Age 31
    2008-09: 22.2 ppg, 08.9 rpg, 46.8 FG%, 35.1 3P%, 20.63 PER, Age 32
    2009-10: 21.9 ppg, 08.6 rpg, 47.4 FG%, 37.2 3P%, 19.46 PER, Age 33

    Antawn Jamison is freakishly consistent and is showing no signs of breaking down physically. Remember, he’s 33 years old, not 43. He actually improved every year from age 28 to 32. His efficiency rating this year is higher than it was when he was 28, 29, and 30. And if doesn’t work out, don’t discount Danny Ferry’s ability to trade him at any point. Remember, nobody thought he could trade Larry Hughes, either, and all he did was turn Hughes into Delonte West and Joe Smith, who was used to acquire Mo Williams.

    Bottom line, Jake, is that if you don’t want Jamison on the Cavs, that’s certainly your right. But don’t insult others just because they don’t agree with you. There are plenty of people who watch more basketball than you do, including Danny Ferry, who think Jamison would be a great fit in Cleveland. It’s certainly a more than valid opinion in its own right.

  • http://www.msblsim.com boogeyman

    @jake in the city that sounds like the same tired argument people used for keeping Gibson around did you just change the name from Gibson to Hickson with him being LeBron’s little brother? Give me a break I’m sure if LeBron had to choose between winning a championship and some sort of friendship between Hickson or Gibson it would take him probably less then a second to decide. You make Jamison sound like he’s ancient besides the fact that you don’t even know if Z or Shaq will be here so that automatically eliminates two of the aging big men. With Jamison under contract that at least ensures the Cavaliers that they’ll have another option. I don’t get the love for Hickson he hasn’t done anything it took him facing the lowly T-Wolves before he ever saw 20 pts. and all of a sudden this guy is the next superstar, pulease. I’m suffering deja vu with all of the Boobitis flashbacks!

  • Jake In Ohio City (Natty The Dog)

    Its not that I am saying Jamison isn’t a great fit this year. Its the fact that going forward, like BOogerman said, Shaq and Z may not be here, and that leaves our Frontcourt with what?

    Andy, Jamison, Jackson? What I am saying is if you can get Jamison, get him without giving up JJ Hickson, because you don’t know what this kid can become, and given our options right now, he is the only one that fits the future.

    I never said JJ is an all star right now, but he could be.

    Z’s contract needs to specifically go towards getting a mid 20′s quality player that intrigues lebron to stay here.

  • Bball

    I do not know what Lebron is going to do this summer so I am focusing on winning now. Who is better for the cavs this year, Jamison or JJ? Jamison is the easy answer. Hate to break it to you Jake, but if Lebron is on the edge about coming back, he’s not gonna look at JJ as anything special. There are about 10-15 young bigs in the league with a much better upside than JJ. Dude can’t even make the rookie/soph game. I say lets win this year and Lebron won’t wanna leave

  • Marcus

    As a result of the Arenas /Crittenton situation and other factors it is my opinion that the chance of the Wizards and Cavs pulling off a trade that involoves Jamison is slim to none; therefore, its a mute point to have this debate. AJ is GREAT for the Wizards organization both on and off the court. Cavs aren’t going to offer Washington anything except salary cap relief.

    Cavs would also like to get David West, but the Hornets owner is not willing to trade his core of Paul, West, and Okafor.

    Stoudemire would also give Cavs a scoring threat, but his salary is an issue and IMO he’s unproven in a half court offense.

    I think the Cavs should focus on winning a championship THIS year. The lineup they currently have is certainly built for the playoffs and appears to be one that is formidable against any team in a 7 game series. My concern is their DEFENSE against athletic big men. Defense is not the strength of AJ, DW, or AM.

    This may sound crazy, but the person I think the Cavs should go after this year is Marcus Camby. He is arguably the best defensive PF/C in the game, he can score, he has playoff experience, he’s a polished veteran, and he has an expiring contract. If the Clippers would be willing to buy out Z’s contract and get a 2nd round draft pick I think Camby would be a perfect fit for the Cavs. (Remember the role that PJ Brown played for the Celts in ’08, and Mourning played for the Heat?)