"Cleveland, Washington and the Los Angeles Clippers pulled off a three-team deal on Wednesday that sends Antawn Jamison to the Cavaliers as LeBron James' new sidekick, instead of Amare Stoudemire.And Zydrunas Ilgauskas most likely will remain a Cavalier. Michael Wilbon of The Washington Post (and ESPN's Pardon the Interruption) writes to Wizards fans,
Cleveland sends Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his expiring $11.5 million contract to Washington. Washington also gets a 2010 first-round draft pick from Cleveland along with the rights to Emir Preldzic, who was selected in the second round of last year's draft."
"Don't show up at Verizon Center looking to see Big Z firing up three-pointers from the right corner. He'll be here about as long as Drew Gooden, who was in the passenger seat Wednesday night when Jamison drove away... Actually, Big Z probably won't show up in Washington at all. The Wizards can buy him out and he can sit out 30 days, then rejoin the Cavaliers for the playoffs. You think the Cavaliers are crazy enough to not have a veteran big man backing up Shaq?"Jamison led the Wizards in scoring the past three seasons, averaging 21.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. He may be that final piece of the puzzle that pushes the Cavs over the top.
Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes,
"This trade could bring a title to Cleveland... General Manager Danny Ferry did it again. Backed by Dan Gilbert’s deep stash of cash, Ferry was able to add a star while giving up nearly nothing. It’s not just a deal, it’s a basketball Brinks truck of a steal."
J.A. Adande and Jalen Rose of ESPN say that this deal helps the Cavaliers keep LeBron James in a Cleveland uniform:
ESPN: J.A. Adande and Jalen Rose take a look at the three-team deal that sent Jamison to Cleveland
As I read Wilbon's column, I thought, "This sad state of affairs is what it usually sounds like to be a Cleveland sports fan!" It's strange to hear this kind of commentary about another sports franchise that doesn't have "Cleveland" in its name:
"Jamison left the floor, walked toward his car and told reporters to tell the fans he loved them more than they loved him. It clearly was a bittersweet moment for Jamison, who loved playing in Washington, loved living here, loved the late owner, Abe Pollin. In a fairly recent conversation, I told Jamison he'd get over it if he could join James in Cleveland and play for a championship. Jamison, never improper, managed a smile because if he was leaving he didn't want to leave under these circumstances.
Nevertheless, that feeling will wane and Jamison will walk into full houses at The Q in Cleveland. He'll play in games of consequence, playoff games of great theater. Likely he'll play into June alongside LeBron and Shaq, against Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. He'll play games that mean something on nights where his downtown arena vibrates and the entire city buzzes. And we'll be the jealous ones, again, watching the party from afar, the season over long before the good stuff even begins, so much closer, as usual, to last place than to first."