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Jamison headed to Miami. . .for Super Bowl

But should Wizards follow Memphis' lead and move him to Cleveland?

Antawn Jamison wasn't necessarily upset that the Wizards were unable to get out of Orlando this weekend. Sure, he would've loved to make it back to Washington and play the Atlanta Hawks at Verizon Center last night. But since the game was postponed, Jamison had a much easier commute to Miami, where he plans on watching the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl.

Jamison caught a short flight to Miami after Sunday's practice in Orlando. He'll join the team on Monday.

This will be the first Super Bowl that Jamison has ever attended, but the Louisiana native said it has nothing to do with the Saints participating. He's not even a Saints fan. He said he's a fan of individual players and thinks Peyton Manning is the best quarterback in the game.

Jamison has no rooting interest in the game, but he purchased a suite at Sun Life Stadium so that he could have a good time with several of his friends. He said his wife, Ione, granted him some time with his boys to help get away; with this difficult season with the Wizards providing few opportunities for fun. Jamison made a similar trip to watch North Carolina win the national championship in Detroit last season.

I know there has been a lot of talk lately about the Wizards being reluctant to move Jamison to Cleveland given the bad blood between the two franchises. The apprehension is believed to be rooted in three hotly contested playoff series, and Larry Hughes's departure in the summer of 2005. The prevailing sentiment from people around the league is that President Ernie Grunfeld has no desire to help Danny Ferry and the Cavaliers win a championship by giving them Jamison.

But I had a recent conversation with an Eastern Conference executive who made a very interesting point. The executive said the Wizards should only be concerned about interest of the organization - not what Jamison could do for the Cavaliers - and used Memphis as an example.

Around this time two years ago, the Grizzlies traded Pau Gasol to the Lakers for Kwame Brown, Marc Gasol, Javaris Crittenton and two first round picks. The move was roundly panned around the league, with Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace credited with "gift-wrapping" a title for the Lakers.

San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich was one of the more outspoken critics of the trade, calling it "beyond comprehension" and suggested that the NBA establish a trade committee to oversee all lopsided deals. But recently, even Popovich had to backtrack, with the Grizzlies emerging as one of the surprise teams in the Western Conference and Gasol developing into a quality NBA center.

Although Pau Gasol reached the NBA Finals and won a championship the next season with the Lakers, it wasn't going to happen for him in Memphis. Jamison's dreams of winning a championship are not going to be met in Washington. Holding on to him doesn't really help either side.

Of course, Cleveland also has to be wiling to give the Wizards a deal as sweet as the one Memphis received for Pau Gasol. Some reports have the Cavaliers offering Zydrunas Ilgauskas's expiring deal, J.J. HIckson and a first-round pick, but I heard from a league source that the Wizards have not been offered that much. The Wizards, according to the source, have made their demands known to Cleveland, which so far has been unwilling to budge.

By Michael Lee  |  February 7, 2010; 12:22 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards heading to Charlotte

Comments

Hickson and the Cavs 2012 1st round pick would be a great way to start the rebuild.

Posted by: divi3 | February 7, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree. A first round pick for the season after lebron supposedly walks and shaq retires seems nice.

Also I heard Jamison hung a picture of the Larry obrian trophy on his locker wall. To have the last years of a good career end on a rebuilding phase and a mess in washington is sad. If the cavs want him they can have him. Jamison deserves it he is so professional. If I was jamison in DC I would say EFF MY LIFE. Even some of the fans in DC don't like him in the blog (DCMAN and DIVI) so I hope he wins a championship. Even though I know the rest of you will live in the coulda shoulda woulda world of what if we had Rip, sheed, ben, jamison, butler, gilbert before knee surgeries

Posted by: jefferu | February 7, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

you must have me confused with someone else, AJ's my favorite player on the team

Posted by: divi3 | February 7, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely no way do I want Jamison to go to Cleveland (or anywhere for that matter).

I think Cleveland is going to win the Championship this season anyway :(

Posted by: Lisa_R | February 7, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

He said his wife, Ione, granted him some time with his boys to help get away; with this difficult season with the Wizards providing few opportunities for fun.

AJ it's a job suck it up and be a leader.

Why not stay in Orlando and work with some of the young guys?

Then again since you don't know how to play the game the right way why screw up other players?

The only thing you have done in this league is score points and play no "D".

Maybe you'll get traded to a team that will win a championship and you'll claim it was because of you?

This guy's a joke!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 7, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

AJ is such a terrible player that the best team in the nba covets him? guess you know better than the Cavs, huh bulletsfan78?

Posted by: divi3 | February 7, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

divi3

I never said he was a terrible player I have always said he is a selfish player who plays no "D" and only cares about himself and how many points he scores.

That makes him a good 6th man on a really good team.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 7, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

63% no? (at time of this writing). I had no idea so many Cleveland fans were on this site. I like Jamison, but with trades, I say if you can't get it done here, then ship a player to one step down on the purgatory scale (New Jersey?). Not several steps up. Plus, what good is the ring if you go somewhere to coast through March and April and then go through the playoffs - that's only half a ring earned.

Posted by: ragtop4spd | February 7, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Well folks, out here in Clinton, we got 32 inches of the white stuff. Since about 9 this morning I have been in and out the house, digging out my Chevy 4x4, and still some digging needs to be done.

Gotta get my Super Bowl meal on, the Tar Heels are playin the Terps, and Mike Wilbon is on 7 with the NBA.

Got the digital camera going and the cell phone camera, gotta catch those moments ya' kno'.

Happy Historical Snow Storm to everyone.

John Thompson lamented the fact that his alma' decided to play yesterday, but the Georgetown Hoya's turned in a game for the history books.

The Wizards, I'm told are meandering towards Charlotte if not already there, but they will have to bring there A Offensive game in Charlotte, or the Bobcats will kick there butts.

Happy SuperBowl fellow bloggers, maybe one day we'll have a Blogger Bowl...you just never know.

LarryInSnoweyClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 7, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Actually, there is not equal or greater value that Cleveland is willing to give us for Jamison, so why do it.

Even though the prevailing opinion is that this Team needs to be revitalized 'so to speak', the Wizards still should make sound valued decisions.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 7, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice to make the playoffs. However, the Wizards won't. That's no problem, because it enhances the team's chance of getting a better lottery pick. The whole Wizards Cavaliers rivalry is about as mythical as the big 3 concept. There never was a rivalry, it was simply a beef between James an Stevenson. The other players were simply two bit actors as part of a feigned rivalry that appeared more like a publicity stunt than a true I am ready to throw down rivalry. Arenas made a few comments, but they were more of his usual self promoting and motivating comments. Anyway, the Wizards should trade Jamison if they can get a good young player that's willing to play D and a good draft pick. The Wizards need to just do what is good for the future of the team. Afterall, Cleveland is not guaranteed a championship. They have to beat the Lakers in a 7 game series, and also get there. With aging Shaq and a defensless Jamison, James may get upset if they don't get a championship. It would be ironic if he left Cleveland, Leonsis got him in D.C. and the Wizards had a young dynamic team from a collection of draft picks. Maybe then Jamison would like to be the old vet on a team with true championship potential. I know; those last few lines were clearly wishfull(maybe even delusional) thinking. But the whole point is, Jamison has at least shown professionalism and a good attitude, so whatever happens it would be nice for his outome to be positive and for the Wizards organization to do what is best for the team.

Posted by: Theone9 | February 7, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, for those who can remember back, here is what the rivalry was, going back to the first playoff series - close games, whining Lebron causing irritation for Wizards fans, traveling ignored by the refs, and apparent super star preference. After losing the first series, we wanted revenge, only to see the Wizards sliding backwards and Cavs get better. It was a rivalry that then turned into frustration/jealousy, whatever, and part of it was because Wizards fans knew first hand what the league was doing for Lebron. Don't forget the unsportsmanlike taunting of Arenas when he was about to shoot the free throws. They had to make a rule change it was so blantant an infraction by Lebron.

Any DC fan who is willing to give ANYTHING to Cleveland is crazy. And by the way, other than James himself, I don't think I want anything from that team in a trade. I'll read up on Hickson though.

Posted by: ragtop4spd | February 7, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

i'm all for getting AJ his chance at a ring especially if it means we get a young, potential stud PF and a 1st round pick in return

Posted by: divi3 | February 7, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The trade mentioned above would be nice Jamison for Big Z, Hickson and a 1st round pick but I would not want the pick this year give me the pick in 2 years after Lebron leaves and they hit rock bottom.

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 7, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

It's only a rivalry if you win sometimes and the Wizards never won a playoff series against the Cavs.

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 7, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

What do you think the trade demand from the Wiz?

I don't think it is a draft pick that is the hold up. I think they are (SHOULD) be demanding they take someone else along with Jamison (Blatche). That would help us going forward by taking him off our books for the next three years. Instead to JJ, we should be wanting West and Z in return. Both could come off the books before next year (West has a low buy out for next year).

If that was the case, then we could make a play for 2 of the lesser free agents of 2010 (think... David Lee, Rudy Gay, Udonais Hasslem, Carlos Booser, etc) and add them to Butler and at least be entertaining to watch. And who knows, we could make a play for another BIGGER guy depending on what we do with 'Mr. GunSmoke' aka Gilbert A.

Posted by: fishin41 | February 7, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"It's only a rivalry if you win sometimes and the Wizards never won a playoff series against the Cavs."

C'mon. Tired of this tired statement. Cleveland vs Washington in basketball is a rivalry by the definition of the word. Now if you want your own definition be my guest, but a rivalry is a competition between two well known adversaries. I think Cleveland vs Washington qualifies as such.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 7, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Hickson and a 1st rounder are not enough

Posted by: Gooddad | February 7, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Hickson and a 1st rounder are not enough

+1

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2 | February 7, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

We can lose with him - we can lose without him. If we can dump his last two years at $10+ mil per - fine. I don't know if there's a single player on the roster that will be a significant part of the next Wizards playoff team (in 2013 or 2014?). Maybe if the Wiz resign Foye. Javale McGee? Maybe. Nick Young? Hah. McGuire? And after the Wiz trade AJ, they should trade Caron and as many of the expiring contracts as possible - Haywood, Miller, James. T don't know if there is any player on this roster that you can really build with or around. The Nets may have a worse record but have a couple of pieces like Lopez and Devin Harris.

Posted by: thinker11 | February 7, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Conditional "yes". It all depends on what the Wizards get in return. I agree with other commentators: Hickson and a late, late first rounder don't seem like a great trade off (even with an expiring contract thrown in for good measure). On the other hand, Jamison's contract diminishes his value somewhat. There probably isn't a ton of competition for him right now.

Posted by: JPRS | February 7, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Hickson and a 1st rounder are not enough

+1

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2 | February 7, 2010 6:14 PM

Jamison and Butler led the team to 19 wins last year and are nothing special this year. Hickson and a first-rounder might qualify as a steal for Washington.

Posted by: tgif11 | February 7, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

anacostia85 is exactly right, a rivalry is when two teams take turns beating each other. It's a rivalry only in the minds of some Wizards fans. The Wiz are a last place team that has to rebuild. The Cavaliers rivals are Boston, Atlanta, and Orlando in the Eastern Conference.

All of you who want to be picky about trades, being a last place team the Wizards are not, I repeat are not in a position of strength when it comes to making trades. They will have to probaby take what they can get or otherwise they will be stuck with this roster.

Haywood is going to walk at the end of this season, get something for him now or loose him as a free agent. Jamison value will continue to dimish as he gets older, get something for him now. Be willing to listen to any trade that will help the Wizards in the future.

The Wizards need to acquire as many draft choices, and young players they can get their hands on.

Posted by: wbjking | February 7, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

"I never said he was a terrible player I have always said he is a selfish player who plays no "D" and only cares about himself and how many points he scores."Posted by: bulletsfan78"

And that argument has never been very persuasive.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 7, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

just gave the cavs jamison he cant help the wizards do much no way

Posted by: anthony_williams_dw | February 7, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

" Hickson and a first-rounder might qualify as a steal for Washington.Posted by: tgif11"

In exchange for Jamison? Hmmm... Hickson has moved into the starting lineup for Cleveland, but averaging less than 25 minutes a game (the Cavs like to bring Varejao off the bench). It's hard to rate Cleveland players on offense because LeBron is so dominant, but over the last few games Hickson is scoring 10-15 points, mostly on dunks and putbacks, and around 6 boards. He has exactly one assist in his last 3 games, which should tell you something. He's an athletic shotblocker, if not always an effective one, and shoots 69% from the line. He's a little bigger than Jamison.

At this point in his development, he's a role player. If you put him on a team like the Wiz, maybe he becomes something more. After all, he's only 22.

A number one draft choice for the Cavs looks like the 26-30th pick.

I'm trying to think of a reason Grunfeld would make that trade.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 7, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

It has taken a couple of months (ok - a YEAR!) but I can not say I am OK with the Wizards parting ways with Jamsion - but not the cavs.... & what appears to be the overeall problem is that teams want our quality players, but are not willing to give us much in return. If this continues to be the case, leave the team as it is. Why should we give up a key player & not GET anyone that can step in his shoes? Yes, Blatche does well, but right now we need him off the bench. Who trades a starter for a bench warmer? With the offensive schemes we see taking place, we have enough bodies to sit on the bench...

Posted by: 2StepsAway | February 7, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Adding to that last thought, what kind of draft pick can the Cavs offer anyway, number 30? Oh boy, I'd really be interested in that. We can argue his flaws, but Antawn still produces heavily most every night. We need a definite return whether strong prospect or excellent draft pick to give up someone like Jamison. Z's expiring contract is pointless to me. We already have enough of those to pursue anyone who is likely to come to DC anyway. Nobody big is coming to DC unless Obama starts schmoozing with the team. Actually, I think that is our best chance to ever draw an above avg free agent. Anyone here have some White House contacts who can help arrange giving the Wiz some cache to draw some free agents?

Posted by: ragtop4spd | February 7, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Samson151

A terrible player would play like AJ but only average 5 points a game

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 8, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

"Hickson and the Cavs 2012 1st round pick would be a great way to start the rebuild."

Agreed.

"Actually, there is not equal or greater value that Cleveland is willing to give us for Jamison, so why do it."

Because it's likely the best (or close to it) value that they're going to get. No one is trading a multiple-time All-Star, 20/9 player for Jamison at this stage of his career.

"A number one draft choice for the Cavs looks like the 26-30th pick"

If it's this season's pick, yes. But if Lebron splits Cleveland after this season, the Cavs are going straight lottery, so their 2012 pick (which is what divi3 said) would certainly be much higher. If the deal would include Ilgauskas' expiring deal, that's $13 mill in cap space relief (although I question what they'll be able to do with it).

Is it a great deal? No. But they aren't going to find a great deal for an undersized 34-year-old jumpshooting PF with 2 years and about $30 mill left on his contract.

If the plan is to rebuild, there's no point in the Wiz holding onto Jamison. His trade value isn't going to increase and the longer they wait the better the chance he gets hurt.

Now if, as has been reported in some places, the Wiz agree to cut Ilgauskas after the trade so the Cavs can re-sign him, then they need to throw in another pick to sweeten the deal.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 8, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

"The apprehension is believed to be rooted in three hotly contested playoff series, and Larry Hughes's departure in the summer of 2005. "

Don't see why Grunfeld would bear the Cavs any ill-will regarding Hughes. He let Hughes walk because he didn't think Larry was worth the money he wanted. And he was right. Signing Hughes to that ridiculous deal (and having to deal with his lousy attitude and declining skills) also threw a nice speed bump into the Cavs path for advancing on a title. And it allowed the Wiz to pick up Butler, who's been the better player.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 8, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Economics 101, sell high. If we sell Jamison to the Cavs at a high price wh cares. In the long run we will be better off. So many short sighted comments out here. The same goes for Caron (who I love, and wouldn't mind building around) and Haywood. Ernie needs to hit the reset button. Get as much as you can now and fo us on the future. This team is done with providing immediate return.

Certainly don't understand all the hating on Jamison either. Thean has averaged a double double, or close to, his whole time here. I don't understand how anyone can say he is terrible at defense considering he does average double digit rebounds. Last time I checked that is a defensive statistic.

The big egos, althoughtl they are the best part of the Wizards, need to be traded away and we need to let Flip mold the youngsters. I don't understand why Ernie doesn't put any pressure on Flip to rise out the young bucks. Playing Jamison, Butler, and Haywood for 40 minutes a game provides us no benifit. I understand Saunders wants to win, but at some point you have to realize your limitations and make the bes of it. I hope Flip realizes this soon and starts to make changed that will benifite him, the organizations, and the players in the future.

Posted by: jonnyflo14 | February 8, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand how anyone can say he is terrible at defense considering he does average double digit rebounds. Last time I checked that is a defensive statistic.

Posted by: jonnyflo14

Because there is more to defense than just grabbing rebounds. Defensive boards are predicated on someone missing a shot, and AJ doesn't always do a lot to help opponents miss. He has played better D lately, but over the last few years, he has not done much to defend the basket, cut off penetration or close out on shooters. I like AJ, but defense is definitely not his calling card.

If AJ were traded, out defense would improve pretty much immediately. Whether that would be enough to outweigh the loss of his scoring, rebounding, and leadership only time will tell.

There are many different types of teams that can win in the NBA, power teams, finesse teams, fast break teams, halfcourt teams. But there's no question that at some point, you have to be at least a good defensive team to succeed. I think that's a good place for the Wiz to start. Too many of the current Wiz players, especially the younger ones, are soft on D. Probably in part because of the veteran leaders on the team who aren't good defenders either. So I think it's time to shake things up and bring in some tougher defenders, even if the team struggles offensively in the short-term.

If they did the AJ for Hickson, Big Z, and a #1 trade, Hickson should be a better, more rugged defender than Blatche. If Blatche sees his time disappearing to someone less offensively gifted, but more defensive minded, maybe that would positively affect his motivation to defend. I think the arrival of Foye and Miller definitely affected NY's approach. He still has a long way to go, but at least I've seen more effort.

I think the point in the article is correct. When you're floundering at the bottom, you can't be worried about how a potential trade might help conference competitors or so-called rivals. You have to do what's best for your team. You obviously don't like to trade a franchise-type player to an in-conference foe, but AJ is not a franchise player. And we are so far away from competing with the Cavaliers, it should not be a consideration. By the time the Wiz will be able to think about being contenders, AJ will likely have retired, and LeBron may be gone.

But to be clear, there was a brief period of two or three years where the Cavs and Wiz were rivals. The series were always hard-fought, even though the Cavs always came out on top. It's like saying there's no Caps / Pens rivalry. I don't think the Ovie Caps have beaten Crosby's Pens in a playoff series (don't kill me Caps fans if I'm wrong), but it is still very clearly a rivalry.

Posted by: ts35 | February 8, 2010 3:49 AM | Report abuse

#1..someone said we probably wanted to "make" Cavs take a player like Blatche. Why would we do that. Clearing his salary isn't going to help us. He is making what? Like $1.5 ,i; to $2 mil for the next few years. I know he isn't great, but that kind of money is only for mid 1rst round rookies and guys like Boykins. Blatche is a steal and you couldn't replace him for twice that money.

#2...We need to take several picks for Jamison over the next few years. I think this draft goes 45 deep with helpful guys. Of course, only the first 10 and then a couple surprises like every year will have an immediate impact. Take 1st this year (do you really think LeDou che will leave if he wins a championship? To go where? NY and a complete rebuilding?) 1st in 2013 and 1st in like 2016/17.

Posted by: Blurred | February 8, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

"If AJ were traded, out defense would improve pretty much immediately. Whether that would be enough to outweigh the loss of his scoring, rebounding, and leadership only time will tell."

LOL. Tell you what: take a poll of NBA coaches on the matter. I don't think they'd have to wait long to give you the answer to that one.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

"But if Lebron splits Cleveland after this season, the Cavs are going straight lottery, so their 2012 pick (which is what divi3 said) would certainly be much higher"

True. But if the Cavs felt that was the likely scenario, would they trade the 2012 pick? It might be one they desperately need.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Here's an unpleasant image for the Cleveland GM: they trade the '12 selection for Jamison, the team goes on to lose in the Finals, and LeBron leaves for NY. It's 2012 and they don't have their lottery pick.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

No one will give up a lotery pick for AJ in february,it is not a draft night trade that a club would trust AJ help in winining right away.I do not see that vision.We have to be clear about 1st round pick(it is not pick #1 to# 30,it is pick#15 to#30.) which means players like NY,JM. But do we have any other way? We are not trading AJ to improve, we are doing it to servive the next 2 seasons from the perspective of economy.NBA will cut another 6-7 from this season salary limit, which is going to make it 55-57 million.The wiz are not in a position to pay a single dime for dollar to dollar tax due to poor ticket sell which is going to be bad in the coming 3 seasons.
CB can also go but we should not be as despirate as moving AJ, his value would probably give as better 1sr round pick next season.People are thinking that we will be fine since we will have MM,MJ,BH,JC and DM expiring contract. 78-23 is 55 million. We need to fill the roster which probably need at least 5 million to have few jorney men,this still make as pay tax.
We have the chance of selling CB&AF on the draft night,i just can not see it happen on AJ, that is why i believe we need to let him go now.

Posted by: gtefferra | February 8, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

"that is why i believe we need to let [Jamison]go now.Posted by: gtefferra"

No disagreement there. His value doesn't go up beyond the playoffs.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I go back to the recent report that the driving force behind a Jamison trade would be LeBron -- the implication being that management and the coaching staff aren't as enthusiastic.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

JAMISON is no P. GASOL. That said, I would have wanted Z three seasons ago, NOT NOW. He's done.

With HAYWOOD ready to become a ghost in a D.C. uni, the WIZARDS need a true #5 for this trade to work IMO.

Their #1 will not be a top lottery pick which is what we need to get a true elite player at center.

McGEE is still way raw, and is a PF in my book. He, BLATCHE, and a true center like a GASOL could then rotate off each other at the #'s four and five with a great player at five carrying the main load.

I don't see anyone on the CAVS roster that fills our need, so nix the trade unless O'NEAL comes over straight up. And that will never happen for many reasons not the least of which is money.

We are set at the # one with GIL the thrill on the horizon for next year. LOL.

You build a team from the baseline out, not from the center court line in. So far we haven't cut it. Where's WES UNSELD and ELVIN HAYES when you need them?

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 8, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

"But there's no question that at some point, you have to be at least a good defensive team to succeed." posted by ts35

No question at all. I was watching Boston-Orlando yesterday and the commentator watched Jason Williams drive all the way to the basket as time expired in the first half, and couldn't commenting that two years ago, that would simply never have happened.

But how good does a team have to be, defensively, to contend? Bill Simmons, the ESPN stats geek, says the answer isn't in the numbers. A team can have solid stats and still fall quite short in a playoff series.

I'm thinking about that Cleveland-Orlando series last year. Cleveland was the better defensive club (the Magic rely too much on Howard) but their shooting percentage from outside went south. Did Orlando's defense suddenly improve, or did the Cavs hit a cold streak? No way to tell without watching the games.

Maybe a club needs to be proficient defensively to the extent that its offense isn't able to make up the difference. By that reasoning, Utah needs to play better defense than Phoenix.

Anyway, just a thought.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Randy Foye is now second in the NBA in FT shooting, at a hair above 93%.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"True. But if the Cavs felt that was the likely scenario, would they trade the 2012 pick? It might be one they desperately need. "

Not as badly as they need to placate Lebron by getting Jamison. Much like the Wizards, the Cavs aren't in a position where they can worry about the future, They need to do anything and everything they can to convince James that they're willing to go all in to get a title in hopes that it'll dissuade him from bolting.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 8, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"Here's an unpleasant image for the Cleveland GM: they trade the '12 selection for Jamison, the team goes on to lose in the Finals, and LeBron leaves for NY. It's 2012 and they don't have their lottery pick. "

Read that sentence to Danny Ferry and I guarantee you everything after "Lebron leaves" will only be heard as static.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 8, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why Jamison would help the Cavaliers win a championship. It's not like he's helped us at all. Hopefully whatever deal we make wouldn't be so lopsided as to give them a one-sided player and take... nothing in return.

Cleveland would be a good fit for Antawn as I already strongly dislike him.

Posted by: ericw1 | February 8, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

True. But if the Cavs felt that was the likely scenario, would they trade the 2012 pick? It might be one they desperately need.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 8, 2010 7:43 AM

If Jamison helps them win a title there's zero chance LeBron bolts Cleveland this year, IMO.

Posted by: tgif11 | February 8, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

That's a nice revisionist history on the Pau Gasol trade but it is very inaccurate.

1. Marc was the 48th pick 7 months prior to the trade. If the Griz REALLY KNEW he was going to be even an average big they would have picked him WAY before that (trading for a pick in second round, which happens all the time in the NBA). It is VERY unlikely that any new information swayed them either because the reports from scouts when Marc came into the league 6 months AFTER the trade suggested average big at best still. In fact the Lakers didn't even value Gasol greatly as they took him with their 2nd Second round pick behind that Chinese point guard. The two draft picks the griz got were among the worst they could receive in the 1st round

2. They could have EASILY gotten a better trade value for what they gave up (a borderline top 10 player in the league). That was the point. They could have swung a three way and still ended up with Marc Gasol and sent a decent big to LA... OR

3. They traded Pau WAY before the deadline and should have been able to get Bynum or do a three way with ODOM to get more from the package if they waited.

Just because you do something stupid and it turns out OK doesn't make the stupid thing the RIGHT thing to do. In comparison the T-wolves gave up a player with similar 4 year value (garnett) and recieved a borderline all-star big and a top 5 pick... I would say even if the Griz KNEW Marc gasol would turn into a borderline all-star they got less from the trade. Which of course they didn't making it a very BAD trade. And lets not pretend that the Griz are a really good team either... They're a 40-46 win team.

If Marc Gasol finds a way to leave via free agency in a year or two do you then say what a crappy trade it was for 3 good years of marc gasol and 1 or two playoff trouncings...

Posted by: gimpcom | February 8, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Those of you not interested in receiving late first round picks (25 To 30)in trade senarios need to check your history. In '05 David Lee (19.9 pts. and 11.5 rebounds)was the 30th pick in the 1st round. Dead last! Gerald Wallace of Charlotte who the Wizards have to deal with tomorrow is averaging 19.1 points and 10.9 rebounds. He was the 25th pick in the 1st round in '01.

Would any of you so called Wizards fans like to have either of these guys? My point is you cannot just blow off the opportunity to acquire 1st round picks, even late first rounders because you don't know who is going to be there! I'll trust my gm to make good draft selections.

I'll give you all a bonus name, Tony Parker of the Spurs was the 28th and last pick of the 1st round in '01. He's been good enough to be the starting pg on 3 championship teams. Teams with good general managers that invest in scouting can find players late in the draft.

Posted by: wbjking | February 9, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

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