The Washington Wizards had a “big three” of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. Though only Jamison is considered an actual big-man in today’s NBA — and he’s undersized and more of a tweener forward than a true power forward — they were called that because those guys were the nucleus of the team. The foundation. Here to stay.
But Arenas was suspended and his future may be elsewhere. Butler was traded in a better-than-expected deal that brought Josh Howard to D.C. And now, Jamison is gone.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired forward Antawn Jamison from the Washington Wizards and guard Sebastian Telfair from the Los Angeles Clippers, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today. In exchange, the Cavaliers sent center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, their first round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft and the draft rights to forward Emir Preldzic, the 57th overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, to the Wizards. The additional components of the three-team trade included the Clippers acquiring forward/center Drew Gooden from Washington and Washington acquiring forward Al Thornton.
“Z has been a cornerstone part of this franchise and his jersey will hang in the rafters here some day, not only because of his play, but because of the tremendous person he is and what he has meant to the franchise and the community,” Ferry said. “He has represented the Cavaliers, Cleveland and the NBA at a consistently high level for many years. We wish Z and his family the best.”
Jamison, 33, has averages of 20.5 points on .450 shooting, including shooting .345 from three-point range, 8.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 block in 39.0 minutes per game in 41 games played (all starts) this season with Washington. He is the only player in the NBA this season with averages of at least 20.0 points and 8.0 rebounds while making 50 or more three-pointers. The 11-year veteran has been named an all-star on two occasions (2004-05, 2007-08) and won the NBA’s Sixth Man Award following the 2003-04 season. In all but two of his 11 seasons, he has averaged at least 19.6 points and has posted rebounding averages of 7.0 or better in eight of his 11 seasons. He has career averages of 19.9 points on .456 shooting, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 36.9 minutes per game in 839 games (732 starts) and is one of just five active players with over 16,000 points and 6,000 rebounds.
The forward from North Carolina has reached the postseason in five seasons and has averages of 19.2 points on .443 shooting and 7.8 rebounds in 37.1 minutes per game in 31 career postseason games (26 starts).
“Antawn is a great pro. We are very excited to have an experienced all-star player of Antawn’s caliber and character join us,” Ferry said. “He has the ability to add a special, unique dimension to our team with a strong inside presence and the ability to stretch teams defensively, while impacting the entire court. We think he matches the culture we have built, and continue to build, and will fit well with our group on the court and off.”
Telfair, 24, is averaging 4.3 points on .404 shooting and 2.9 assists in 14.9 minutes per game in 39 games played (one start) this season. The five-year veteran has career averages of 7.8 points on .390 shooting and 3.9 assists in 23.6 minutes per game in 388 games (181 starts).
Ilgauskas, a two-time all-star, has averages of 7.5 points on .452 shooting, 5.3 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 20.5 minutes per game in 53 games played (six starts) this season. He departs the Cavaliers as the franchise’s all-time leader in regular season games played (760), postseason games played (64), rebounds (5,841) and blocked shots (1,259).
Drafted by the Cavaliers with the 20th overall pick of the 1996 NBA Draft, the 7-foot-3 Lithuanian played all 11 seasons with the Cavaliers and has career averages of 13.9 points on .475 shooting, 7.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 28.4 minutes per game in 760 games (673 starts).