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Jamison wants James to stay in Cleveland


Don't leave me, LeBron. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)


Antawn Jamison shared a taxi with LeBron James from the team hotel to TD Garden before Game 6 of the Cleveland Cavaliers' second round series against the Boston Celtics. After scoring just five points and looking lost and unsure of himself in a season-ending 94-85 loss, Jamison is now left to worry if that will be the last ride he takes as James's teammate.

His short stint in Cleveland is now mired by bookend bad games - a shaky 0 for 12 shooting display in his debut and a horrific 2 for 10, five-point finale that will likely haunt him for some time. "Not the way you planned," Jamison said of his outing. "It's tough for the season to end this way, but it has to happen and hopefully you can learn from it. To know you could've played better you didn't play your best basketball; that's the toughest thing. It's going to sting for a while."

With Kevin Garnett roasting him and Jamison fumbling a pass late in the game, ESPN.com columnist John Hollinger tweeted, "I think the big takeaway from this year's playoffs is not to trade for any Wizards."

This was not a particularly good season for anyone who spent time with the team this season. The players who got away had to deal with double disappointment (the misery in Washington and postseason heartbreak). And, their new teams experienced diminishing returns.

The Mavericks went from losing in the second round last season to losing in the first round with Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson. Cleveland went from losing in the conference finals last season to going out in the second round with Jamison.

Some observers panned the Wizards, and President Ernie Grunfeld in particular, for dealing away so much talent with the primary objective to clear cap space. But as I stated after Dallas was eliminated, those deals look better for Washington because they really can move forward without regret, with Jamison owed $28 million over the next two years, and Butler and Stevenson owed $14 million next season. Imagine if the franchise had decided to stand pat.

But no matter how well the moves have worked out thus far for the Wizards, the trades can't truly be judged until the team actually does something with that money, be it through signing free agents or acquiring assets in trades. Of course, that is not Jamison's concern.

As he got dressed in front of his locker room stall after the game, Jamison paused for a moment to scan the room then stared blankly. He was despondent. A mob of reporters invaded his space to speak with Shaquille O'Neal. They crowded and pushed him back into a corner as he whirled his tie into a loop. He eventually had to squeeze himself out as the horde became too much.

In a lot of ways, the scene summed up the current situation for Jamison, who joined the Cavaliers with the expectation that he would help James capture that elusive championship ring.


Aaagh! Please don't leave me! (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Instead, he will face criticism for getting pummeled by Garnett on the defensive end and failing to provide the offensive relief. His performance could contribute to James bolting Cleveland this summer and leaving Jamison with the unappealing option of staying behind without the two-time league's most valuable player and a legitimate shot as a contender.

"Hopefully, I'm still here and we keep everybody intact and we have another opportunity," Jamison said. "There is going to be a lot of speculation from now until everything gets done. I just hope everything works out and we're able to give it another shot. The thing about life, there is a lot of uncertainty going on. Right now, we don't know what the future holds."

Ever since James signed a three-year contract extension in the summer of 2006, the Cavaliers realized that they were on a short clock to deliver a championship caliber organization. But after advancing to the NBA Finals with an overachieving bunch in 2007, the Cavaliers have been bounced from the playoffs by superior teams - the Celtics and their all-star trio of Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen proving to be that team on two occasions. And despite leading the Cavaliers to the league's best regular season record two years in a row, and claiming the most valuable player award both times, James has come up empty and embarrassed.

Now he could also be headed elsewhere. James spent the entire offseason and most of this season, presenting the image of a man loyal to his hometown and his friends. He released a book and complementary documentary movie, "More Than A Game," that depicted the story of his high school teammates and their pursuit a mythical national championship. He had his MVP acceptance ceremony in Akron. But whenever he was asked about staying in Cleveland, James always hedged, all the way through Thursday.

"My team [of friends and advisors], we have a game plan that we're going to execute, and we'll see where we'll be at," James said.

The Cavaliers made every attempt to provide James with everything he needed. Ambitious owner Dan Gilbert spared no expense, absorbed huge luxury tax penalties and built a state-of-the-art training facility near James's oversize mansion. But too often, General Manager Danny Ferry was scrambling to assemble a suitable supporting cast.

When the Larry Hughes experiment failed, Ferry added more shooters and defensive-minded, complementary pieces. When the Cavaliers lost to Boston in seven games two years ago, he added Mo Williams to provide another scoring option. When a well-prepared Orlando team upset them, he added Shaquille O'Neal to contend with Dwight Howard and topped it off with Jamison to counter Rashard Lewis.

But while trying to be one step ahead, the Cavaliers found themselves two steps behind. By getting prepared for the Magic, they weren't equipped to handle a Celtics team that rediscovered its mojo, got healthy and turned back the clock in one week. Since O'Neal and Jamison couldn't come through and form any chemistry in just four regular season games and the playoffs, Cleveland took a step backward.

"It wasn't the reason I was brought here," Jamison, 33, said. "It wasn't the reason why all of us was brought here, but to come up short, and not play your best basketball. You know how bad I wanted this, it's just disappointment all the way around. You wanted a better outcome but it didn't happen."

But it will be worse if James leaves him behind to catch his own cabs.

By Michael Lee  |  May 15, 2010; 8:16 AM ET
 
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Next: Irene Pollin to represent Wizards at draft lottery

Comments

Of course MeTawn does....b/c if LeBron leaves, then MeTawn will turn into the next Juwan Howard.

MeTawn knows he's overpaid and just a stats guy. He's going to lead the Cavs to the lottery once Lebron leaves and Shaq doesn't get a new contract.

BTW, who cares if LeBron leaves for NY?

What has NY done the past 10 years?

They suck and even with LeBron, there's no guarantee of championship glory...just a lot of stupid hype.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 15, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

It's an interesting question -- if LeBron and, say, Shaq, take a hike, is Cleveland back in the lottery?

They're still at heart a good defensive club. Mo Williams can still score, Varejao and Hickson are still good interior players. Jamario Moon is still probably the league's best pure athlete. I suppose Sebastian Telfair can play the point.
Danny Gibson still has that glossy 48% from 3 point range. Jamison will go back to getting his 18 and 8 (more important than ever without LeBron), and Big Z is still 7'3".

Except Ilgauskas probably calls it a career.

Roster for roster, it might be among the league's weaker sisters. Assembled for depth and to provide a supporting cast for a superstar.

Hey, Gilbert's available...

Posted by: Samson151 | May 15, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

More happy talk from Jamison after a game in which he played poorly and his team loses. I am so glad he's not with the Wizards anymore.

Posted by: harrybalz | May 15, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Cavs current roster minus Lebron looks like a 25win team imho

Posted by: divi3 | May 15, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

It's an interesting question -- if LeBron and, say, Shaq, take a hike, is Cleveland back in the lottery?
--------------------------------------
I think they are back in the Lottery is only Lebron leaves.

Posted by: BT23 | May 15, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Lebron did to the Cavs what Gilbert did to the Wiz -- Get the team to sign a bunch of players who could complement him and then f up and the team is left with nothing.

The Wiz had the chance to trade Gilbert to Golden State for Baron Davis and Biedrens and passed. Even if the Wiz had just let Gilbert walk they would have been better off because then they wouldn't have had to draft Nick Young, resign Stevenson AND trade the pick that would have netted Stephen Curry for Foye and Miller - both unlikely to be with the team next year.

What are the Cavs without Lebron? Jamison, Verajao, Williams, West, Gibson meh . . . another sucky lottery team.

Ernie apparently knew better than the fans what Caron, Jamison and Haywood were worth - expirings, a late 1st rounder and some trade exemptions.

Posted by: thinker11 | May 15, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"The Wiz had the chance to trade Gilbert to Golden State for Baron Davis and Biedrens and passed."

Geez, I never heard that one. What's the source?

Posted by: Samson151 | May 15, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"The Wiz had the chance to trade Gilbert to Golden State for Baron Davis and Biedrens and passed."

Geez, I never heard that one. What's the source?

Posted by: Samson151 | May 15, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

i don't know that B-Dizzle is any better or different than Zero, and I'd be really interested to find out what Biendrins has done since he was given his millions. B Dizzle has had a coupla knee surgeries too, similar risk to keeping Gil except keeping Gil won't alienate fans, not keeping him mighta.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 15, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"I'd be really interested to find out what Biendrins has done since he was given his millions"

Tore an abdominal muscle and wound up playing 33 games last season. Should be back for training camp. Good rebounder, decent scorer, can pass.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 15, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The usual jameson fizzle. The wiz caught a break getting rid of him. He was an abe pollin favorite. That says it all right there.

Posted by: lp_lodestar | May 15, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Lebron will leave and we can convince the Cavs to take Arenas too.

Posted by: bryan1976 | May 15, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

"He was an abe pollin favorite. That says it all right there."

Lol, no comment.

AJ is a class guy, but when he gets tired he "disappears" on a lot of nights. He did that when he was here. 20/10 one night 7/5 the next. I think he showed that in the playoffs.

He's getting up there in age after all, at least in basketball years.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 15, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Those who are urging LeBron to stay in Cleveland are doing it because they like the idea of local boy staying there, keeping franchise invigorated, maybe lead them to a title someday. They like that image. They don't care in the least what is best for LeBron! He should disregard such people in making his decision.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | May 15, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Jamison was part of the reason the Wizards were a lousy team, they were lucky to get rid of him for what they got, they should have made that move several years ago, the idea that he could even slow down KG is ridiculous.

Posted by: twpw | May 15, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

i never heard the Baron/Biedrins trade talk, but I cant say either is a player I'd want around now. Baron is always hurt and Biedrins seems like an ok player who benefits from Nellie's system

Posted by: divi3 | May 15, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Cleveland, now take Arenas off our hands...PLEASE!!

Posted by: slimjim21787 | May 15, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Wheres my dictionary at? Is that my thesaurus over there. Oh, well alright, here is my science journal.

I'm ready now.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 15, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

thats what they get!!

Posted by: mrhney03 | May 15, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

What happened with Gilby is what happened with Lebron.

You never let these players dictate who they want on their team.

Looking back, you have to chuckle because Jerry Krause really was the architect of the Bulls dynasty. Krause, of course, never got along with MJ.

If they let MJ dictate who they could have on the team, they'd suck like the Wizards and the Bobcats.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 15, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

"James is the most over-rated, over-hyped player in NBA history. He's done nothing of note in his career except sulk.

He's not a leader, and he's not the kind of person or player who can propel a team to greatness. He typically gets beaten soundly in the playoffs, which is when great players are expected to actually be great.

Of course, he's also been on teams where he's the only A or B player, which makes him easy to defend. But unless he goes to a team with a hyper-intelligent GM who can get another couple A or B players to put on the court with him on the cheap, he'll continue to be second rate. And he'll demand so much salary that it'll be hard to sign a couple of good or great players to team with him.

Posted by: kemp13 | May 15, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse "

The press is probably 75% responsible for this overhype BS.

You can't turn on the F'n tv without hearing about all this drama about him taking off his jersey or this and that. The press wants you to care so much about this horse crap.

Who cares?

Who gives a r@t's ass?

Players move around....franchises have success and failure. That's the NBA....

Whatever!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 15, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Forget the rest of this article, the real entertainment is in the first sentence: Jamison and James sharing a taxi to game 6. The Cavaliers aren't known as one of the big spending teams, but how about at least a limo service for your players? I have this image of LBJ and AJ standing on the street in their Cavs warm-ups trying to hail a cab w/ cabbie after cabbie driving by giving them the finger and yelling: Go Celtics!

Posted by: randysbailin | May 15, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

"Forget the rest of this article, the real entertainment is in the first sentence: Jamison and James sharing a taxi to game 6. The Cavaliers aren't known as one of the big spending teams, but how about at least a limo service for your players? I have this image of LBJ and AJ standing on the street in their Cavs warm-ups trying to hail a cab w/ cabbie after cabbie driving by giving them the finger and yelling: Go Celtics!

Posted by: randysbailin | May 15, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse "

If players don't want to ride the team bus, then they're on their own.

What's wrong with that?

Juwan Howard (Falk) wanted limo service as part of his crazy contract, and that was shot down with Abe.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 15, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey Michael, can we read some articles on our own team? Enough about baby Bron Bron and his ego, enough about the Cavs.

What is Shaun Livingston doing to start his offseason? What did Arenas learn from his time away? How does Josh Howard feel his offseason is going to turn out? How is Blatche approaching the offseason to ensure he keeps improving and knocks the "bad work ethic" rep he has? How does McGee feel going into next year with big expectations? Who are our possible free agent targets and how would they fit in the system?

Man, journalism in general and specifically the Post "insider" sections have REALLY taken a downturn as of late. You started off hot Michael, can we return to that? Vacation's over bud!! ;)

Posted by: CantwaittoseeJLCgo | May 16, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey Michael, can we read some articles on our own team? CantwaittoseeJLCgo |


Thank You ! PLEASE !

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2 | May 16, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey Michael, can we read some articles on our own team? CantwaittoseeJLCgo |

GREAT QUESTIONS!
Looks like enuff to keep Mr. Lee busy and keep his readers interested in checking out this blog regularly.
That's stuff that I'd want to read about.

Posted by: VBFan | May 16, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"Juwan Howard (Falk) wanted limo service as part of his crazy contract, and that was shot down with Abe.Posted by: DC_MAN88"

That's Abe for ya -- hand the guy the keys to the city, but draw the line at a ride.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 16, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

There was nothing in Jamison's past which should have made Cleveland or anyone else expect that he could handle Garnett.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | May 16, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

"There was nothing in Jamison's past which should have made Cleveland or anyone else expect that he could handle Garnett.Posted by: PostSubscriber"

Truer words were never spoke.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 16, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Their is salacious talk on the internet about LeTravel's mom in a reported relationship with one of the Cav's players. Delonte West has reportedly been having an affair with Gloria James. now this was all over the internet don't know how true this is but some are saying that was the reason LeBron tanked against the Celt's.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 16, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Their is salacious talk on the internet about LeTravel's mom in a reported relationship with one of the Cav's players. Delonte West has reportedly been having an affair with Gloria James. now this was all over the internet don't know how true this is but some are saying that was the reason LeBron tanked against the Celt's.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 16, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

You mean Delante west is the step father for Lebron James?

Posted by: gtefferra | May 16, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

"It's an interesting question -- if LeBron and, say, Shaq, take a hike, is Cleveland back in the lottery?"

The Cavs would be lucky to win 30 games without Lebron.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 16, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

the idea that he could even slow down KG is ridiculous.

---------

He wasn't brought onto the team with KG in mind.

Posted by: crs-1 | May 16, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse


What is Shaun Livingston doing to start his offseason? What did Arenas learn from his time away? How does Josh Howard feel his offseason is going to turn out? How is Blatche approaching the offseason to ensure he keeps improving and knocks the "bad work ethic" rep he has? How does McGee feel going into next year with big expectations? Who are our possible free agent targets and how would they fit in the system?

Man, journalism in general and specifically the Post "insider" sections have REALLY taken a downturn as of late. You started off hot Michael, can we return to that? Vacation's over bud!! ;)

Posted by: CantwaittoseeJLCgo

Quite honestly, I'm pleased to read so much about Jamison, who has been a cornerstone of the franchise for several years, granted a trade for the sake of pursuing a championship only to meet failure. Pretty good material there.

Far more interesting than reading about Livingston or Howard, who were part of the Wizards band-aid crew and may very well not be in wizards uniforms next year (although I'd like to see them both return.)

And definitely more interesting than hearing cliches spouted about what arenas has learned from being in halfway house.

It happens every year around this time. People complain about wizards news. Headline: there is no wizards news.

Posted by: crs-1 | May 16, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

"It happens every year around this time. People complain about wizards news.Headline: there is no wizards news.Posted by: crs-1"

Well put.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 17, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

If we must hear from Jamison, ask him if this is true.

http://www.bbcnewsamerica.com/delonte-west-gloria-james.html

Posted by: harrybalz | May 17, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather hear about playoff relevant news than "Blatche in the bahamas" or "NY hitting the clubs of LA"

Posted by: jefferu | May 17, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

The only relevant Wizard news for this time of year won't happen until tomorrow night in Secaucus.

Posted by: ts35 | May 17, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

If LeBron does leave Cleveland, they would be wise to follow the painful but likely most effective way to get good again. Stink for two years until Jamison's contract and others expire, gather salary cap space and lottery picks, and build back that way. Even if Shaq and Bron aren't back, the Cavs wouldn't have enough salary cap space to sign anyone meaningful, nor would any of those guys want to come there. If it comes to it, Ferry (or whoever is GM then) should avoid trying for the quick fix, and build over the long term.

Posted by: ts35 | May 17, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

This Delonte west story is interesting if true but most people from cleveland will create any story to excuse lebron from having two bad games whether it be injury or distractions. However Delonte west is a very weird person. He has bipolar disorder and carried 3 loaded weapons in maryland because he thought people were after him. I find West a very disturbing character because if Gilbert is playful crazy West is scary crazy and thus cannot stay in cleveland

Posted by: jefferu | May 17, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Cleveland declare sign and trade on James.This indicate that the team is looking for a younger prospect most probably from the draft.Which lotery team has the right material that goes with 1st pick to land James?
my answer is none but the most possible team is washington,They have the right injured star who want to play with AJ but is cleveland stupid to take Arenas?
It could have been a good senario for nets to send john wall for lebron but no one in the team except Lopez and the point gard attract cleveland.It is hard to think like that,may be to rebuild, for cleveland it is good to try with another young star.
Chicago will never give up Rose and their young center.Kings can give up every body to pair James with Evans,Clipers can give up their last year pick and jon wall for lebron which could be the most tractive trade for both clubs.
We will see, what do you think?

Posted by: gtefferra | May 17, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Antawn "I don't like physical contact" Jamison. The playoffs is about defense & physical ball. Antawn has never had either in his game so he often disappears in the playoffs. His junk offense is ineffective in the playoffs because the level of defense is so much higher. He plays for the money, he won't take a charge, neither will he get called for one, he saves his body for the money. He's probably never fouled out of a game. Anyone can see that. He can help teams in the regular season, playoff ball, forget it.

Posted by: stingem1 | May 17, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Cleveland declare sign and trade on James.This indicate that the team is looking for a younger prospect most probably from the draft.Which lotery team has the right material that goes with 1st pick to land James?
my answer is none but the most possible team is washington,They have the right injured star who want to play with AJ but is cleveland stupid to take Arenas?
It could have been a good senario for nets to send john wall for lebron but no one in the team except Lopez and the point gard attract cleveland.It is hard to think like that,may be to rebuild, for cleveland it is good to try with another young star.
Chicago will never give up Rose and their young center.Kings can give up every body to pair James with Evans,Clipers can give up their last year pick and jon wall for lebron which could be the most tractive trade for both clubs.
We will see, what do you think?

Posted by: gtefferra | May 17, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@gtefferra

Other than extra money, what rationale does LeBron have for agreeing to a sign-and-trade? If it's going to be to any of the teams you mentioned, it pretty much means they have to give up an asset (or two) to trade for him. Meaning he has one less piece to help him win. Why not just sign with NJ or Chicago outright?

Also, because LeBron is free to sign with whoever he wants (assuming he exercises his option to terminate the last year on his CLE contract), Cleveland has zero leverage to demand much of anything substantial back in a trade.

The only scenario under which I see LeBron agreeing to a sign-and-trade is if it is to an already good team who otherwise wouldn't be able to acquire him, where Clevaland either gets salary cap space out of it, or maybe a tier-2 player, or some combination of the two (plus probably a draft pick or two).

Posted by: ts35 | May 17, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The way Washington might be able to benefit from LeBron seeking a sign-and-trade would likely not be in acquiring LeBron, but in being a potential third-party facilitator to make trades happen via the two trade exceptions we have.

Posted by: ts35 | May 17, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

James destination will be determined after he, DWade, Bosh, Dirk, et al discuss who wants to go where with whom. Players run the nba, and James is the defacto GM for each team he flirts with this summer.

Posted by: divi3 | May 17, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

A Michael Lee tweet via Bullets Forever

"Irene Pollin will represent the Wizards @ the NBA draft lottery. Ted Leonsis & Ernie Grunfeld will also be in Secaucus, N.J. hoping for luck"

Posted by: djnnnou | May 17, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"my answer is none but the most possible team is washington,They have the right injured star who want to play with AJ but is cleveland stupid to take Arenas?"

No. Next question.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 17, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

A Michael Lee tweet via Bullets Forever

"Irene Pollin will represent the Wizards @ the NBA draft lottery. Ted Leonsis & Ernie Grunfeld will also be in Secaucus, N.J. hoping for luck"
Posted by: djnnnou

"Strange report from Secaucus, NJ, today. Even though it was technically impossible both mathematically and by process, the Wizards ended up with the 14th pick in today's drawing. Officials aren't sure how it happened. When asked for comment, Commisioner Stern's only response was to shrug and say 'Bad luck, I guess.'"

Posted by: ts35 | May 17, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

"Other than extra money, what rationale does LeBron have for agreeing to a sign-and-trade? If it's going to be to any of the teams you mentioned, it pretty much means they have to give up an asset (or two) to trade for him. Meaning he has one less piece to help him win."

He doesn't need any other reason. Players in similar situations in the past have opted for sign-and-trades (Grant hill, Joe Johnson). Over the course of a contract, the difference between moving on in an S&T and signing somewhere else outright could be upwards of $10 mill. That's not loose change in the couch cushions. It's easy enough for us to say taking the money over the team is selfish and undercuts the stated desire to win, but then we're not the ones leaving eight figures on the table.

"Why not just sign with NJ or Chicago outright?"

Because, depending on what the team he's going to has to give up, agreeing to a S&T could actually be in the best interests of his new team. For example, if he goes to Chicago (a team that will have cap space to make an outright max signing), it's a given that he takes Luol Deng's spot as starting SF. Does it make sense for the Bulls to pay Deng $13 mil (or whatever he's making) to play 20 mpg off the bench? But if they can move Deng and Taj Gibson to Cleveland in a S&T, that gets them Lebron and still leaves them with the cap space to pursue a FA PF who would be an upgrade over Gibson (e.g., Bosh, Boozer, Nowitzki). That would be a net plus for the Bulls.

Of course then the question becomes, would any of those guys forgo the extra cash available in a S&T in order to sign outright with Chicago? Answer: Who knows? But you have to figure that the odds of them agreeing to it go up considerably if they know Lebron is part of the deal.

"Also, because LeBron is free to sign with whoever he wants (assuming he exercises his option to terminate the last year on his CLE contract), Cleveland has zero leverage to demand much of anything substantial back in a trade.

The only scenario under which I see LeBron agreeing to a sign-and-trade is if it is to an already good team who otherwise wouldn't be able to acquire him, where Clevaland either gets salary cap space out of it, or maybe a tier-2 player, or some combination of the two (plus probably a draft pick or two). "

In that instance, Cleveland does have leverage. If Lebron has his heart set on a particular team that doesn't have cap space and a S&T is the only way for them to get James, then Cleveland basically holds all the cards. Sure, James can walk leaving the Cavs with nothing, but that won't get him to his desired destination. And the Cavs have no incentive to just take bad and/or expiring contracts because if all they want is cap space, they can just let Lebron walk. You don't think there are a number of NBA teams who would happily give up their current best player for Lebron James?

All that being said . . . the Wizards have no shot.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 17, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"The playoffs is about defense & physical ball. Antawn has never had either in his game so he often disappears in the playoffs. His junk offense is ineffective in the playoffs because the level of defense is so much higher. He plays for the money, he won't take a charge, neither will he get called for one, he saves his body for the money. He's probably never fouled out of a game. Anyone can see that. He can help teams in the regular season, playoff ball, forget it.Posted by: stingem1"

I thought the above was interesting because it's the sort of thing you can look up -- does Jamison 'disappear' during the more physical atmosphere of the playoffs? Do his measurables go down significantly as the play slows and competition becomes more intense?

Answer: that doesn't appear to be the case.

For instance, over his career, he averages 34.1 minutes in the playoffs, versus 36.4 during the regular season. His career scoring average is 19.8; in playoffs only, it's 18.1. Career regular season average rebounds= 8.1; in the playoffs, it's 7.7. On three-pointers, it's 34.7% vs 33.5%; at the FT line, it's 72.8 vs 70.8; and turnovers are down slightly in the playoffs, to 1.60 from 1.72.

In Cleveland, he averaged 15.8 during the regular season (he played in 25 games) and 15.3 during the eleven playoff games. His shooting percentage was down slightly in the playoffs (about 1.8%) and his 3 point shooting was off, from 34.2% to 25.6%. That was the only stat I found that was significantly depressed in the playoffs.

But that's true for most of the Cavs against the Celts.

So my answer would be no, he doesn't 'disappear' in the playoffs. He remains essentially the same player he is during the regular season -- warts and all.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 17, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"The only scenario under which I see LeBron agreeing to a sign-and-trade is if it is to an already good team who otherwise wouldn't be able to acquire him, where Clevaland either gets salary cap space out of it, or maybe a tier-2 player, or some combination of the two (plus probably a draft pick or two). "

In that instance, Cleveland does have leverage. If Lebron has his heart set on a particular team that doesn't have cap space and a S&T is the only way for them to get James, then Cleveland basically holds all the cards. Sure, James can walk leaving the Cavs with nothing, but that won't get him to his desired destination. And the Cavs have no incentive to just take bad and/or expiring contracts because if all they want is cap space, they can just let Lebron walk. You don't think there are a number of NBA teams who would happily give up their current best player for Lebron James?
Posted by: kalo_rama

First, if you'll look at my paragraph quoted and your first couple of sentences, we're essentially saying the same thing. S&T works to get LeBron someplace he can't get to on his own because of cap reasons.

I'll buy the Chicago S&T scenario as a means for Chicago to adjust their pieces. I think you could play Deng and LeBron together if you wanted to, but if they want to use his salary slot as a means to acquire a more important or better fitting piece, I won't argue with that.

However, in that scenario, Cleveland may have some leverage, but they have the least leverage out of the interested parties. LBJ is obviously free to sign with Chicago outright and Chicago can find other trading partners for Deng plus whoever. Cleveland agreeing to an S&T might make it easier, but LBJ can go to Chicago with or without their participation, hence they don't have much in the way of leverage concerning LBJ going to Chicago.

Posted by: ts35 | May 17, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

In terms of other destinations LBJ might have his 'heart set on', I don't recall hearing of any that LBJ is interested in that he can't get to outright. Unless he suddenly decides he wants to play for the Spurs, Lakers, Trailblazers, or a contending team like that. But the destinations mentioned have been New Jersey, New York, Miami, Chicago, Cleveland. All of whom can sign him outright. Now maybe those have only been mentioned because of media myopia, i.e. only looking at teams that have space and/or LeBron has expressed even vague interest in.

If for some reason LeBron does come out and declare that he wants to go to a particular team that can only get him via S&T, then Cleveland has some leverage, but at best it's a mexcian standoff. The Cavs control his ability to go to that particular team, but he still controls the ability to sign somewhere else and leave them holding the bag. Plus if the team of LBJ's desire has to give up one of their other best pieces to get him, then maybe it becomes a place LBJ doesn't want to go.

All of that being said, in most scenarios, LeBron holds the hammer, and I don't think he's going to give it up willingly.

And yes, no doubt, the Wizards have no shot. And frankly, I'm ok with that.

Posted by: ts35 | May 17, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"First, if you'll look at my paragraph quoted and your first couple of sentences, we're essentially saying the same thing. S&T works to get LeBron someplace he can't get to on his own because of cap reasons."

Not quite. You're saying it in the context of the Cavs having no leverage. I'm saying it in the context of the Cavs having significant leverage.

"However, in that scenario, Cleveland may have some leverage, but they have the least leverage out of the interested parties. LBJ is obviously free to sign with Chicago outright and Chicago can find other trading partners for Deng plus whoever. Cleveland agreeing to an S&T might make it easier, but LBJ can go to Chicago with or without their participation, hence they don't have much in the way of leverage concerning LBJ going to Chicago."

All true, but utterly irrelevant to anything I said. Read it again. I wasn't addressing the leverage issue with regard to the Chicago scenario. I was addressing it specifically with regards to James wanting to go to a team that had no cap space and thus could only acquire him through S&T (Which is why my comments on leverage immediately follow the part of your post that starts out "The only scenario under which I see LeBron agreeing to a sign-and-trade is if it is to an already good team who otherwise wouldn't be able to acquire him," which is a separate paragraph entirely from your mention of Chicago). In that instance, the Cavs hold most of the leverage, because their cooperation is required in order for James and the other team to get what they want. Clearly that's not the case with Chicago which is why I didn't address the leverage issue in my paragraph relating to a potential Chicago deal.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 17, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Answered all of that in the second half of my entry, it was too long for one posting.

Posted by: ts35 | May 17, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"If for some reason LeBron does come out and declare that he wants to go to a particular team that can only get him via S&T, then Cleveland has some leverage, but at best it's a mexcian standoff. The Cavs control his ability to go to that particular team, but he still controls the ability to sign somewhere else and leave them holding the bag. Plus if the team of LBJ's desire has to give up one of their other best pieces to get him, then maybe it becomes a place LBJ doesn't want to go."

Well, unless James and his agent are not very bright, one would have to assume that they factored the need for the other team to give up some majorly attractive assets in the S&T before declaring to the Cavs that's where he wanted to go, and the fact that they would still make the declaration means that they're okay with that. I mean, they can't possibly think that Cleveland would agree to a S&T where they're giving up James and taking back crap. Why would they?

As for James having the ability to walk and leave Cleveland with nothing . . . If James' first choice is a team that he can only get to by S&T then it behooves both him and that team (which, presumably, would be doing backflips at the prospect of getting James) to come up with a deal that the Cavs like. Sure James can walk and go somewhere else, but that means not getting what he really wants, and one would think that that's the whole point of his opting out and becoming a FA: to have the chance to go to the team/city he most wants to be a part of. And, from the Cavs perspective, if their options in a no-cap-team/S&T scenario are (A) take back crap/less than they want or (B) letting James walk, a good case could be made that B is the more attractive option. Taking back crap in exchange for James just so they can say they got something does nothing for them. If they make it clear that they're willing to walk away rather than be strong-armed into takigg the other team's bad contracts/underwhelming players, then the pressure is on James and the other team because, at the end of the day, no matter what they get Cleveland is still going to be without what they really want, which is Lebron James. Taking on bad contracts, overpaid players, or weak draft picks with guaranteed contracts attached only makes an already bad situation worse for them.

James and team X need Cleveland's cooperation to get what they want. That's the definition off leverage.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 17, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, unless James and his agent are not very bright, one would have to assume that they factored the need for the other team to give up some majorly attractive assets in the S&T before declaring to the Cavs that's where he wanted to go, and the fact that they would still make the declaration means that they're okay with that. I mean, they can't possibly think that Cleveland would agree to a S&T where they're giving up James and taking back crap. Why would they?

They wouldn't. But even if (a large "if" which has yet to be established) LeBron had just one destination he was willing to go to and it required an S&T, he and his agent would never just declare for it. They would/will keep several teams in play and make everyone keep tweaking deals until they got the one they liked -- meaning the team they want to go to doesn't give up anything LBJ wants to keep. Cleveland can indeed walk away from making any deal, that's the only leverage they have. They're not in play for any other FAs. LeBron has the ability to keep multiple options in play, including just walking away, while in an S&T Cleveland can only ultimately deal with whoever LeBron wants them to. THAT's the definition of leverage.

Posted by: ts35 | May 17, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

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