The Game Changer

The Cleveland Cavaliers are making a push for Antawn Jamison. It’s a deal that might dump Wally Szczerbiak’s expiring contract in exchange for instant, no-doubt-about-it favorite status.

I’m not going to say it will be “game over” if Cleveland gets Jamison, but they’ll clearly move ahead of everyone else if they do.  They’re playing out of their minds right now, they’ve got Mo Williams playing some of the best ball of his life.  Delonte West, who was playing great before his injury, is coming back in the not-too-distant future.  And to improve things with a #2 option as potent as Jamison could simply be too much for opposing teams to handle.

The only potential saving grace is that we don’t know how LeBron will react to being the favorite.  It might be the rest of the leagues only hope that he will crumble a little under that kind of pressure.  I would highly doubt it though.

And not only would getting Jamison be a game changer for this season, it could have a ripple effect for years.  If they DO get Jamison… and if they DO win the NBA title… then why would LeBron leave in 2010?  Why wouldn’t he just try to re-up and ride this wave for as long as he could?  Why would he leave all that to go to a team that is clearly at the bottom floor and building around him all over again?

The Wiz say they’re not looking to dump Jamison’s salary.  I hope they’re being sincere.  Because I think a trade for Jamison would have an effect for them that rivals the effect the Kevin Garnett trade had for us.

22 Responses

  1. You’re honestly comparing Jamison to Garnett????

    You’re out of your mind.

  2. The trade would compare to the Gasol trade, one of the contenders separating themselves from the bunch.

  3. Tim, he wasn’t comparing Antawn to KG…he was comparing the effect. KG put us over the top, and Antawn could definitely do that for the Cavs.

  4. Thanks Scott… that’s exactly what I was doing. The effect for their team will be as important to them as KG was for us.

    I really… really fear this possibility

  5. Antawn Jamison won’t have the same effect as KG in any situation.

    Let’s not jump overboard

  6. the cavs are not going to land jamison, so now they have switched their focus onto Camby. Which i think could actually be more effective, because he is basically big Z who plays D.

  7. We would have a hard time handling Camby.

    Tim, we need to be afraid of this. Antawn is a 6’9″ or 6’10” big man who can rebound, shoot the 3, etc. He could really stretch the D, which would give Lebron even more room to drive to the hoop. That’s scary because he can almost get to the rim at will as it is.

    I think you’re underestimating how good Jamison is. He’s always been on shitty teams and has put up about 20 and 8 for his career. He’s a veteran and his skill set fits perfectly with the Cavs. I can’t even begin to imagine how many good looks he’d get when the D collapses on Lebron.

  8. I don’t like this firesale stuff. Weak teams are selling off their only good players to primarily the top 5 teams looking to add to their already strong rosters. It hurts league parity and it distorts already competitive matchups. Why does Cleveland need a big? They’ve already got Wallace and Z. It’s like A-Roid taking steroids: he’s already one of the best hitters in the league, why take steroids?

    I liked PJ Brown and I felt reassured when Cassell joined last year, but there was a cheapened feeling I got (but I chose to suppress) when Danny picked up guys right before the deadline to make a push at the championship. I think this year’s SA vs. LAL and CLE vs. BOS matchups will go to 7 games and are good the way they are.

  9. There is nothing the Cavs can do that would make them clear favorites over the Celtics, or even over the Lakers. It will still come down to execution – especially on the defensive end – and to health, the single biggest factor. If the Cs are healthy, there is no team that can beat them when they execute, with or without Jamison or anybody else.

  10. DRJ…its always about execution, though. Teams are dubbed favorites based on potential and in-season play. With Jamison on the Cavs, their potential will be sky high and they would be going into the playoffs with likely the best record in the East (at least). How can you not say they would be the favorites?

  11. Since you ask:
    (a) Jamison stands out on crappy teams because he becomes the go-to guy. And he’s dangerous, yes, but he’s actually LESS so than Wally. Jamison is shooting .465 this season. Wally’s at .485. Jamison is .338 for 3s, Wally is .405. So who would you rather have shooting your big shot?

    b) The only reason Jamison is so highly regarded is exactly because he’s been on crappy teams, and thus scores a lot. I am not impressed. I don’t see him as a major improvement.

    c) I don’t care who the Cavs get… if BOTH the Cs and their opponent are playing up to par, the Cs win, because they have the best team defense in the league. No other team approaches what the Cs do on team defense, and therefore, comparing best play to best play, the Cs have the edge.

    d) Btw, Jamison also adds little in the defense department.

  12. The wizards probably arent going to get rid of Jamison, and even if he does go to cleveland, i dont see him changing the celtics chances – hes not on the level of KG or even Gasol, so comparing it to those trades and scenarios is irrelevant

  13. DRJ…you could have said a lot of those things about KG before we traded for him…

  14. And to honestly say that Wally Sczerbiak is more dangerous than Antawn Jamison is a little bit ridiculous.

  15. Re Wally vs. Antawn: I’m just quoting the numbers. They speak for themselves.

    And yes, it could have been said that KG scored a lot for Minn because he was their (only) go-to guy… but he was also defensive player of the year, MVP, super-dedicated, and an obviously great player. Really, there is no comparison between KG and Jamison… I think it’s even illegal to speak their names in the same sentence.

    Anyway, this is all mental masturbation, because Jamison is not gonna go to the Cavs.

  16. Why would Washington do this? Why would they want to make the Cavs better. I don’t buy it for a minute.

  17. You guys sound like like Jon Barry. That dude looks for any reason to knock the C’s. Boston is still the team to beat regardless of any recent trades rumors (aside from amare to cleveland). Wallys a scrub, The wiz will never help the cavs, Kobe is a bitch come playoff time, and LeBrons perimeter shooting can not lift his team over the C’s in a seven game series. Be easy the truth has got this.. but tough break for TA

  18. It’s simple really. Jamison is a bonafide scorer that would take some heat off of Bron. You leave Jamsion open, he hits shots. You leave Bron open, he hits shots, or drives for and-one’s. Jamison would really make the Cavs better. If you can’t see that, oh well.

  19. Jamison had his best games when Arenas was on vacation..er..sick leave. When they were together he tended to fade into the landscape. He’s a good player, but definetely a rythym shooter, being Lebron’s sidekick won’t work well for him.

  20. Lakerhater…you can’t compare playing with Arenas to playing with Lebron. The entire Wizards team did better without Arenas because he is a black hole when he’s playing. Lebron is exactly the opposite when he plays. He’s willing to set his teammates up and could easily do so with Antawn.

    DRJ….you’re also distorting the number incredibly. Don’t even mention FG %….Jamison has taken close to 700 more shots than Wally. So don’t reference the numbers and say “they speak for themselves” because they don’t numbers need to be put into context. Jamison has also taken 100 more 3’s. So you should except his %’s to be lower than Wally’s.

    It’s not even a debate whether or not Jamison would make the Cavs a lot better. The only question is will it happen? I don’t think so.

  21. We all agree that this issue is most probably unrelated to reality, as the trade is probably not going to happen. But for the record, it can’t be “distortion” to simply quote 2 players’ records. You can argue that Jamison’s numbers would improve when he starts taking fewer shots — and you may be right about that. But the key is “may”. You don’t know, Jamison doesn’t know, nobody knows. So it’s conjecture. A good argument, but still conjecture.

    I prefer to go by the existing record. From 3pt territory, Wally is hands-down better. As in “much” better. Overall FG% is debatable, per your argument. I just don’t see this as something that would transform the Cavs. And it might make them WORSE… because Jamison is not a proven team-defender, and it is not known how he would interact with James & company. Those are my 2 cents… just for the hell of it, because all this is just bullshit anyway… but bullshit can be fun too.

  22. Scott and DR J’s last comments both great. Bottom-line: it is all just BS until something really happens. And we fans eat BS up…

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