Antawn Jamison: Los Angeles Lakers Wouldn't Regret Signing Free-Agent Forward
According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears, the Lakers and Jamison are scheduled to meet on Tuesday:
Free agent Antawn Jamison to talk to @Lakers Tuesday, source said. Vet forward excited to play with Kobe & Nash, but still awaiting offer.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 16, 2012
Jamison has seldom been associated with winning basketball, but he's on the verge of joining one of the NBA's most illustrious franchises.
Somehow, someway, with all the bad teams that Jamison has been a part of, he's remained a quality scoring option for every one of them. Only two times has the former UNC Tar Heel averaged fewer than 15 points per game over the course of a season. One of those times was his rookie season, and the other was with the Dallas Mavericks when he came off the bench in all but two games.
Over the last two seasons, his field goal percentage has dropped below 43 percent, but in the 12 seasons prior, he never slipped under that mark.
He was one of the main guys in the Cleveland Cavaliers offense in 2011-12, which forced him into taking plenty of tough shots in the 65 games that he played. He wouldn't be the guy in Los Angeles. In fact, he would be the fourth, behind Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.
Having Jamison as the fourth-best scorer on the team is what would make the Lakers so good. When Jamison is your go-to option, you have a problem. But when he gives way to better players and takes more of a backseat roll, he can help a team in a multitude of ways.
Despite his age and declining athleticism, Jamison is still an extremely viable rebounding option. He's averaged just under eight boards since breaking into the league in 1998 and grabbed 6.3 rebounds per game last season in Cleveland.
How much is Antawn Jamison worth per year?
The Lakers don't need him to bang around down low all game because they have Bynum and Gasol. They just need him to grab about as many as he did last season. Outside of Bynum and Gasol, nobody on the Lakers averaged six rebounds a night.
By no means should Lakers fans expect a brilliant season from Jamison. At 36 years old, he's well into the twilight of his career and will be out of the league within the next few years. It wouldn't be surprising if he takes a pay cut to come and play for a championship caliber team.
Only the value of the prospective contract will tell whether this was a good signing for the Lakers. If the organization strikes a bargain with the trophy-hunting Jamison, we could be looking at one of the more intriguing deals of this offseason.
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