While the Beltway Wizards insiders are resigned to the fact that Antawn Jamison will be on the team next year, and not that there's anything wrong with that, many on the outside seem to believe the veteran is a primary piece for GM Ernie Grunfeld to move this summer.
Most "Trade Jamison" theories came before the NBA draft lottery, the likes of ESPN's Chad Ford and Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen reporting that the Wizards could look to move Jamison should they land the number one pick and Blake Griffin. But some, such as Myles Mills of theKnicksBlog.com, believe that Jamison could still be trade bait should the Wizards select the unknown entity of Jordan Hill with the fifth pick.
Antawn Jamison isn't going anywhere. Not then (when there was hope for the first draft pick), and not now.
The WaPost's Michael Lee adequately dispelled the possibility of trading Jamison in a pre-draft lottery chat:
The Wizards, or Ernie Grunfeld in particular, has invested a lot into this group with Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison. I think he really wants to see how far they can go if they are healthy. Jamison is the only Wizard to start in the past four postseasons and he was a one-man show in 2007, back when Gilbert and Caron Butler were out against Cleveland. They signed with the intention of keeping him. The best time to move Jamison was at the trade deadline last February.
More important than the investments of Grunfeld are the interests of Abe Pollin. The aging owner is willing to do what it takes to compete for a title, but anyone familiar with Pollin's modus operandi knows that doesn't mean trading away an upstanding member of the community like Antawn.
Sure, the "perfect" opportunity could come knocking. But NBA GMs, especially in these economic times, won't be rapping their knuckles on doors for a soon-to-be 33-year-old with three years and $40+ million left on his contract. Isiah Thomas is no longer running a team, people.
Rumors still float that the Portland Trail Blazers are looking for a veteran piece to put them over the top. But if Jamison is that piece, and the Wizards are looking to get to the next level themselves, why would they give him up? It's highly unlikely that Portland, or anyone else for that matter, will offer value equal to Jamison's current leadership, skill, and familiarity with the organization.
Jamison has dazzled Wiz fans with an array of incomprehensible trick shots while bringing his hard hat to work every day. Don't expect much to change next year. Next time you hear a Jamison trade rumor, dismiss it as a myth and move on.