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Latest trade talk: Jamison staying?

No one is certain what the Wizards will do between now and the Feb. 18 trade deadline, but there is a growing sentiment among people around the league that the Wizards don't want to move Antawn Jamison. Caron Butler still seems to be the most likely piece to get traded, with Dallas reportedly ratcheting up its interest. The Mavericks could use a jolt after hitting a 2-4, pre-all-star break funk that included a home loss to Minnesota. Houston and Portland remain in the mix for Butler as well.

But getting back to Jamison. The Wizards have to think long and hard about how they would benefit from keeping Jamison, who will make $28 million over the next two seasons. He will be 35 at the end of his deal and this could be their best chance to move him.

I had a recent conversation with a rival league executive who told me that the Wizards' asking price for Jamison is unreasonable for a 33-year-old player "on a bad contract." The executive told me that whenever a team starts asking for too much, they are usually reluctant about making a deal happen. Barring some mindblowing deal, Jamison should stick around.

The Cleveland Cavaliers remain the primary suitor for Jamison, but they have been unwilling to sacrifice much more than salary-cap relief, likely in the form of Zydrunas Ilgauskas's expiring contract, while the Wizards are also seeking a young prospect and/or a draft pick. According to a league source, the Cavaiiers are still trying to determine if they even want to disrupt what they have going -- they have the league's best record and are on a league-high 11-game winning streak -- with Mo Williams, Delonte West and Leon Powe expected to return after the break.

In an interview with ESPN 850 in Cleveland, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry said that his team would aggressively pursue deals to improve. But he didn't sound too pressed. "We certainly respect that and we certainly understand that we gotta take it day by day to put ourselves in the best position to succeed. I like our team. As far as the trade things, today I sit here and say that I would be surprised if something happened, but that may change over the next two weeks. Maybe we do something and maybe we don't. I do like our group of guys right now."

LeBron James is said to be pushing Ferry to get Jamison, believing that he could be the spread power forward to help push the Cavaliers over the hump. When I mentioned the other day that an Eastern Conference executive said that the Wizards should follow the example of Memphis, the primary point wasn't that they should get a comparable deal; it was more that Ernie Grunfeld has to do what's best for the long term interests of the organization.

The deal that the Grizzlies received two years ago - Kwame Brown's expiring contract, Marc Gasol, Javaris Crittenton and two first-round picks - has worked out in their favor (and so have recent draft picks in Rudy Gay, O.J. Mayo and Michael Conley). But those type of deals are rare, and few teams have the assets that the Lakers had to get Pau Gasol, who was entering his prime. As the rival executive pointed out, when the Hawks traded Rasheed Wallace to the Detroit Pistons in 2004, they received expiring contracts and the 17th overall pick (which turned out to be Josh Smith). Wallace was 29 and in his prime at the time of that trade.

The Wizards remain at the center of trade talk, with the team underachieving, but the Gilbert Arenas gun situation and the ownership instability has led to some confusion, as Ken Berger pointed out in his column.

An important factor to remember in trying to decipher the Wizards' strategy is their ownership situation. Despite a recent hangup in the transfer of power from the family of late owner Abe Pollin to Ted Leonsis, rival executives believe a completed sale to Leonsis is a foregone conclusion. The Wizards have little hope of trading enough contracts to get under the luxury tax, but any savings derived from pre-deadline deals would produce double the benefit in tax payments - a scenario that would appease both the owner and the seller in that transaction.

I've heard that the Wizards are trying to included DeShawn Stevenson in any deal involving Butler. They've included him in talks with Houston and Dallas. Moving Stevenson would take another $4.15 million off the Wizards' 2010-11 salary. As David Aldridge pointed out on NBA.com, the Wizards' desire to move Butler has increased since the team realized that it would receive salary cap relief for the Arenas and Crittenton suspensions.

Washington's cap number will be reduced almost $4 million, according to sources -- pro-rated amounts of the remainder of Arenas's $16.1 million and Crittenton's $1.47 million salaries -- taking its cap number to a little more than $74 million. The cap threshhold is $69.9 million, meaning Washington could avoid paying tax if it can pare another $4 to $5 million in salaries off its books.

Stay tuned.

By Michael Lee  |  February 9, 2010; 2:43 PM ET
 
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Comments

Barring some mindblowing deal, Jamison should stick around.

It should have read...Barring some mindblowing deal, the Wizards are stuck with Jamison.

and why not?

He lead this to to 19 wins last year and got them into the lottery again this year?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 9, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

you're gonna blow a gasket when brenda is gone next week and AJ remains....

Posted by: divi3 | February 9, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

you're gonna blow a gasket when brenda is gone next week and AJ remains....

Posted by: divi3 | February 9, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

divi3

I just sit back and laugh at what has happen to this organization.

I think it's great that the last thing people are going to remember about the Abe regimen is he finally (accidentally) went over the cap and they still ended up in the lottery.

This team under Abe has been a joke for years and only the blind followers are the ones who have been fooled.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 9, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The Cleveland Cavaliers remain the primary suitor for Jamison, but they have been unwilling to sacrifice much more than salary-cap relief, likely in the form of Zydrunas Ilgauskas's expiring contract, while the Wizards are also seeking a young prospect and/or a draft pick.


Blurred, does that mean the Cavs are reluctant to include Hickson for the likes of Jamison??

Posted by: tgif11 | February 9, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Blurred, does that mean the Cavs are reluctant to include Hickson for the likes of Jamison??

Posted by: tgif11

Have you seen much of Hickson? Real deal potential in that kid, I would think they'd be reluctant to move him for any player over 30. They'd be fools to give us Hickson and a pick for AJ, but I am gald EG is trying to get it

Posted by: divi3 | February 9, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad the Wizards are going to hang onto Jamison. I really hated it when the Capitals traded Peter Bondra. Where has that gotten them?

Posted by: Tank2 | February 9, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Wiz should ask themselves in considering any deal: would it help us three years form now to make this deal? By that standard, anything you can get for AJ is good, even if it only means his salary comes out of the salary cap in 2010-11.

And if including DeBrick in a Butler deal means that you no longer get a first round draft pick or a decent young player, then that doesn't meet the three year standard. It may help sell the club, however, as the DeBrick liability comes off the books.

Posted by: EdDC | February 9, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Getting below the luxury tax threshold is key to the new owner, but the Wiz need to get a young player and/or a No. 1 pick in return for Butler. Houston has a nice young PG in Kyle Lowry who might be a long-term solution for the Wiz at that position. If the Wiz could get Lowry and Scola's expiring contract for Butler, it might make some sense. Tracy McGrady is damaged goods with an expiring contract - I don't see him ever playing here if he's part of any deal with Houston.

I don't like giving away Jamison to Cleveland to gift wrap a championship for them unless Hickson is part of the deal. Z is simply an expiring contract and a No. 1 draft pick from Cleveland will be worthless given that it will probably be the 30th pick. I say the Wiz hang on to Jamison and try to resign Haywood in the offseason to provide some stability to the rebuilding effort.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 9, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Is it really worth being angry at a dead man?

Posted by: IrenePollin | February 9, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Why would we want to keep any player we have? Stability for a 25 - 30 win team? At this point I'd rather watch the fricking snow fall on my long steep driveway than watch a Wiz game. At this point guys are playing to impress possible trade partners - who cares?

Posted by: thinker11 | February 9, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I've been wavering back & forth about blowing up the Wizzies & starting over. Since we haven't seen them play in a week or so I have been thinking keeping them together and trying to add one piece to the mix might put us over the top. BUT when I see them play down to the level of bad teams and stink it up I say let's blow it up.
If they follow their old ways they will get blown out by a mediocre team tonight and I'll be tilted back into the blow it up group.

Posted by: VBFan | February 9, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

So Ernie Grunfeld gets heaped with praise for putting the Wizards back on the map, for making them relevant again.

Does he get blame for putting them right back into the hole he dragged them out of?

What do you do to a guy that resucitates someone and then turns around and puts them into a coma?


And when does Kevin Durant become a free agent?

Posted by: p1funk | February 9, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

@p1funk

Grunfeld brought us back to life just for the singular pleasure of choking us out!

Posted by: and_1 | February 9, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

i think we should just let jamison go for z his not that good anyway and z can come in start center we should be lucky to have big z

Posted by: anthony_williams_dw | February 9, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

i think we should just let jamison go for z his not that good anyway and z can come in start center we should be lucky to have big z

Posted by: anthony_williams_dw | February 9, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Antawn is an adult. The Wiz lack adults. Ergo, he will stay.

Posted by: rbelleisle | February 9, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Few teams had the assets the Lakers had to get Gasol, eh?

The Wizards had the then-expiring contract of Jamison, rookie Nick Young (before he had been completely exposed as a wasted draft pick, the Navarro pick, Dom McGyuire while he still had promise and our, Blatche, and their '08 and '09 first rounders. The Wizards had MORE than enough to land Gasol -- Grunfeld and Polin just failed to do so. Period.

Then there's this:

"As David Aldridge pointed out on NBA.com, the Wizards' desire to move Butler has increased since the team realized that it would receive salary cap relief for the Arenas and Crittenton suspensions."

They just realized this? How is it that hundreds if not thousands of NBA fans who have more than basic knowledge of the the CBA know this, but not the Wizards? Do you think they've even heard of Larry Coon?

What a pathetic organization! The basketball tradition of this town is too rich -- we as fans deserve better!!!

Keep Gil. Fire Ernie. Save us, Ted!

Posted by: TheFunBunch | February 9, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Save us, Ted!
Amen!

Posted by: VBFan | February 9, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Antawn is an adult. The Wiz lack adults. Ergo, he will stay.

Posted by: rbelleisle | February 9, 2010 7:11 PM

Fair point. But he is more than an adult, in basketball terms he is just about a senior citizen. And we have Sam-I-am on the bench to be the adult and the role model.

Ergo we should trade him before his knees and quickness go, which could happen at any time and happen quickly at that age.

I really like Jamison, he's a real pro and a decent guy, but right now its in everyone's interest (including his) for him to go somewhere else.

Posted by: ArchieTambo | February 9, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

My dad is an adult, too. But he plays better defense than Jamison.

Posted by: bryc3 | February 9, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tank 2, Haven't you seen the sports channels and the capitals 14 game win streak. Trade all the old guys and pick up some draft picks or younger energetic players who want to make a name and play the game for the love of it money what ever motivates them, because these guys are not motivated.....

Posted by: comeonman | February 9, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Just trade Jamison. I don't care if all they get is salary relief. What the Wiz have obviously failed to understand is that Jamison's contract is an albatross around the neck of this team. All the other teams know this, and that is why they know the Wiz will have to settle for expiring contracts or be saddled with an old, one dimensional player who will hamper the rebuilding of this team. It doesn't help that Jamison is playing like pooh right now.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | February 9, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I really hated it when the Capitals traded Peter Bondra. Where has that gotten them?

Posted by: Tank2 | February 9, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse
=========================================
The Capitals received prospect center Brooks Laich and a 2005 second-round pick for Bondra. At least Brooks Laich is still producing, so it was a good trade overall.

Posted by: JohnWWW | February 9, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

keep caron. i am tired of missed floaters and point-blank layups bcuz some 6-9 guy with size can't touch the rim, is too slow to shake his man and couldnn't stop his shadow if his life depended on it.

Posted by: dcjazzman | February 10, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

keep caron. i am tired of missed floaters and point-blank layups bcuz some 6-9 guy with size can't touch the rim, is too slow to shake his man and couldnn't stop his shadow if his life depended on it.

Posted by: dcjazzman | February 10, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Despite the fact that I often get frustrated w/the way AJ plays defense, one of the reasons that I do not want the Wiz to trade him for just cap relief is the future changes to the CBA.

No one knows exactly what they will be. But, since owners want to pull back some money and the players union still seems weak, look for the changes to the Salary structure to include options for teams to rid themselves of bad contracts without the cap hit.

Remember the Allen Houston rule (although I don't think the Knicks every used it to cut him). So, keep AJ if teams want to be cheap and I am starting to think keeping BTH might be a good idea, too. I think he will probably be a good sign-n-trade candidate after all the big name FAs use up the limited cap space of possible contenders. It's the best way for him to make big bucks BEFORE the new CBA. For all his faults, BTH does seem to be a bright guy.

Posted by: SportzWiz | February 10, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

I really hope EG does not hold Jamision hostage.

It's not fair to a guy who has tried his best to hold his head up at such a difficult time. Especially when EG was the person who stareted this mess in the first place.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 10, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

EdDC, you are 100% correct. The standard for any deal should be "would it help the Wizards three years from now".

ZardsFan1,you are correct, Jamison's contract is an albatross. The most he should have received was a two year deal. They must get whatever they can get for him now because his value will continue to diminish. The Wiz are in no position to demand anything.

To anybody who doesn't wan't the 30th pick in the 1st round from Cleveland in a possible trade; David Lee of the Knicks (20pts and 11.5rebounds a game)was the 30th pick in the 1st round in '05. A good GM can find players late 1st round, even early 2nd,(Parker & Ginobili) just ask the Spurs. Another area where the Wiz have failed miserably, identifying, targeting, and drafting quality foreign born players.

Posted by: wbjking | February 10, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

aj absolutely needs to be traded, it is idiotic to think he will help us become a competitive squad again

Posted by: bford1kb | February 10, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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