While nothing appears imminent at this stage, and rumors of third-party scouts attending a Cavalier practice remain unconfirmed, a source close to the team tell WFNY that Jamison has played himself into a level that is second only to Anderson Varejao in terms of trade value.
“Looking at his recent play, Jamison has all but made himself as untouchable as Andy,” the source said. “At this point, the Cavs may be looking for a king’s ransom if they were to move him.”
While some Cavalier fans see Jamison as an aging forward who will not be a part of the rebuilding process, the team sees him as a veteran leader in the locker room. Antawn not only has taken a leadership role with the younger players on the Cavaliers, but he understands Byron Scott’s offense, has seen occasional runs at calling plays and has been productive since returning from an early-season knee injury.
Coming off of a season-high night of 35 points to go with 10 rebounds in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Jamison has seen his per-game averages creep up to 15.5 points (a team-high) and 5.9 rebounds. Stripping out the month of October where Jamison shot a woeful 31.8 percent from the floor and battled a knee injury, the veteran “stretch” four’s totals are even more impressive.
And if his recent string of play is not enough to increase his trade value, do not discount how much a $15 million expiring contract means to other would-be suitors.
“If the Cavs were to trade Jamison now, any assets they receive in return would likely tie them up financially well beyond next season [when Jamison's contract expires],” the source said.
Playing for a contender, which Jamison has long stated as his goal, he would most likely be coming off of the bench and playing considerably fewer minutes than he does in the current Byron Scott system. What another team would pay for that amount of production at this stage of the season does not jive with what the Cavs would be looking for in return.
Once thought to be a member of the perceived walking dead through the halls of Quicken Loans Arena, the Cavaliers are pleasantly surprised with what Jamison has provided through an eight-win start to the season. Providing mental toughness, Jamison has shown the ability to bounce back from injury and a bench role/perceived demotion. While Chris Grant continues to make and accept phone calls regarding various members of his team, it appears that Cavalier fans should get used to seeing Antawn Jamison. At least for the time being.
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)