As trade rumors swirl, Wizards' Antawn Jamison carries on

By Gene Wang

Following another disheartening loss on Tuesday night, 115-103 to the
NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers at Verizon Center, Washington Wizards
forward Antawn Jamison answered every question about the team’s
failings with his usual candor.

He cited the opponent’s aptitude, a poor second quarter and an overall shortage of intensity as principal factors in the Wizards’ fourth straight defeat, but not once did he mention his contributions, which included a game-high 27 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

That professionalism and dependability have made Jamison an attractive candidate for other teams with genuine aspirations of winning an NBA title this season. Thus the trade speculation regarding Jamison, and to a lesser extent teammate Caron Butler, is inescapable.

"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."

Jamison, 33, signed a four-year extension in June 2008 reportedly worth $50 million after his most productive season (21.4 points per game, 10.2 rebounds per game) in the NBA. This season Jamison is averaging 21.9 points and 8.7 rebounds.

"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."

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld addressed the media on Wednesday after the league announced the suspensions of Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton for the rest of the season, and while he did not comment specifically on the futures of Jamison or Butler, he did indicate this latest development could affect his decisions before the Feb. 18 trade deadline.

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