Jamison could be good deal for Cavs

CLEVELAND: Nothing extraordinary transpired at Quicken Loans Arena
Wednesday night. An outmanned rival showed up to be pounded into
submission by the Cavaliers 121-98.

I know that has not always been the case this season, when the home
team so often has played down to the level of its opponent. But on this
occasion, the Cavs toyed with the Washington Wizards, who were without
Gilbert ”Doc Holiday” Arenas, whose indefinite suspension for
bringing a firearm (or two or three) into an NBA venue began hours
before the game.

The Wizards shouldn’t be a stern test for the Cavs even with Arenas, and without him the club’s firepower (pardon the expression) was reduced to that of a cap pistol. But there was another reason for Northeast Ohio fans to watch: 6-foot-9 forward Antawn Jamison.

In other seasons and other cir*****stances, Jamison has been a man Cavs partisans have loved to hate.

But this year is different. Jamison is a man that might help bring Cleveland its first championship in a major sport since the 1964 Browns. Moreover, there seems to be a reasonable chance that the Wizards would be willing to send him to the Cavs before the February trading deadline.

Not only is Jamison apparently available, but he also might be the ideal addition to the Cavs, that is, a power forward who scores from inside and out and rebounds. He is averaging 21 points a game and 8.5 rebounds. He has scored 30 or more points seven times and amassed 10 double doubles.

Jamison did not appear to be auditioning for a job in Cleveland on Wednesday night, when two quick fouls put him on the bench early. But he came back with a solid second half and finished with 26 points.

Not that Jamison needed to prove himself to Cavs General Manager Danny Ferry. The last time the Wizards faced the Cavs, Jamison scored 31 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. (He was hurt the first time the teams played.)

Jamison is an athletic player who belies his 33 years and 11 years in the league. He has a knack for slipping through tight places and gliding from spot to spot on the floor. Ironically, or maybe not, he was guarded by the man, Anderson Varejao, whose playing time at power forward would be in jeopardy if a trade were to be consumated.

So what about the possibility of a deal? The Wizards are seeking rather modest compensation for Jamison, given the cir*****stances. More than likely, what they would demand is the $11.5 million expiring contract that belongs to Zydrunas Ilgauskas, which would get the Wizards out from under the $28.4 million obligation they have to Jamison the next two seasons as well as what is left of his $11.6 salary the rest of this year.


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