Jamison Joins King James in Cleveland

Three-team trade finalized

By Matthew Stabley
|  Thursday, Feb 18, 2010  |  Updated 6:40 AM EDT
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Antawn Jamison has been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, NBC4's Lindsay Czarniak reported, and good for him. He gets to play for a contender alongside one of the NBA's best: LeBron James.

Oh, and don't forget about some guy named Shaquille...

Jamison was the centerpiece of a three-team deal that also sent Drew Gooden to the Los Angeles Clippers.

TheWiz received Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, a 2010 first-round draft pick and the rights to Emir Preldzic, who was
selected in the second round of last year's draft from Cleveland.

Washington also received forward Al Thornton from Los Angeles. Cleveland gets guard Sebastian Telfair from the Clippers.

"Antawn is a great pro. We are very excited to have an experienced all-star player of Antawn's caliber and character join us," Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry said in a statement announcing the trade. "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."

Jamison, who had been with the Wizards since 2004, is averaging 20.5 points this season. He was not in uniform for Washington's
game with Minnesota on Wednesday.

"Antawn Jamison has been the embodiment of leadership on and off the court for this franchise for five-and-a-half seasons and we
thank him for all he has done for the Wizards and the city of Washington," Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said. "Unfortunately, our on-court results have not met our expectations and we felt it was necessary to make changes to improve our future and our financial flexibility. This trade accomplished both of those objectives."

Jamison left the arena shortly before the game. As he entered his car, he said to reporters: ``Not now.''

He did have a message for Wizards fans: ``You know I love them more than they love me.''

The Washington Wizards garage sale began after guards Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton were suspended for the season for bringing guns into the Wizards' locker room. Arenas, Jamison and Caron Butler were the core of a team that went to the playoffs in '06, '07 and '08, though Arenas missed the 2007 playoffs with a knee injury and most of the 2007-08 season after surgery to his left knee. In September 2008, Arenas underwent another operation on his knee and missed most of the season again. The team tumbled to a franchise worst-tying 19-63 record.

This season, with Arenas back, the Wizards were optimistic about a return to the playoffs, but even before Arenas's suspension for gunplay, the team struggled. It's on pace to top last year's 19 wins with a 17-33 record heading in to Wednesday night's game, but it's not likely to climb out of the Southeast Division's cellar.

So with Arenas gone for the season and likely not to return to the team ever again, the Wizards put for sale signs on their stars. Earlier this week, the team sent Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson to Dallas for Josh Howard, Gooden, Quinton Ross and James Singleton.

It's a big do-over in D.C. -- save money, collect draft picks and begin rebuilding.

Jamison is averaging 20.5 points per game this season. He leads the Wizards with 8.8 rebounds per game.

Ilgauskas, 34, is averaging 7.5 points and 5.3 points in 20.5 minutes per game this season.

The NBA's trade deadline is at 3 p.m. Thursday.

Now stop and wave goodbye as Jamison leaves the Verizon Center.

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