MIAMI FL - DECEMBER 15: Antawn Jamison #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks with a referee during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on December 15 2010 in Miami Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this Photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Next on our trip through the Cavs' roster is number 4, Antawn Jamison. He's an incredibly nice guy who somehow keeps finding himself in unfortunate situations. He may not be wearing wine and gold for all of this upcoming season, but let's talk about 'Tawn anyway.
Conrad: Be honest with me, did you think the acquisition of Antawn Jamison would be the piece that pushed the Cavaliers over the top to win the title in 2009-10?
Aaron: Yes. Hate to say it, but yes. I knew his defense would be bad, having watched him from his Wizards days... but I honestly thought that his finishing ability and his rebounding would -- combined with Varejao and Shaq -- make for a title-contending big man rotation. We all know how that turned out. Shaq and Andy got injured, both crumpled in the playoffs, and Antawn's defense came back to bite us in a big way when KG got his second wind and crushed him. Would things have been better if he'd had more time to learn Brown's system? Possibly. But overall, the 2010 team was the most disappointing team of the LeBron era, and Antawn continued a career riddled with playoff disappointment with his highest profile one yet. But... did I think he was going to push us over the edge? Absolutely. Never could've predicted it would go as wrong as it did, but that's just basketball sometimes.
Conrad: The Cavaliers came very close to moving Jamison to Golden State at the deadline last year; do they pull the trigger this time around?
Aaron: If they can deal him, they have to. Absolutely must do it. I was ecstatic when I heard the rumors that he'd get traded last year, and I'll spend the entire year praying that SOME team is going to be stupid enough to think he's their missing piece and trade for him. The man is a stand up human being, as I detailed when I wrote about him relatively recently for the Gothic, but he is an infuriating basketball player to watch. ESPECIALLY on a team with no playoff aspirations -- he's a ballhog, he plays no defense whatsoever, and he has a far overinflated sense of his own scoring ability. If we can trade him for assets, all the better. My guess, if I had to make one, would be that the Cavs pull what they did with Mo's contract and trade Antawn away for another bad contract and a good pick. Best case scenario in my view would have the Cavs land Iguodala and the Sixers' pick late in the season for Boobie, Antawn, and Ramon after a disappointing year for the Sixers, giving us a core of TT, Kyrie, Flopsy and Iggy along with our top picks in the loaded 2012 draft. That's a core that could really have some legs. Realistically, we probably won't get a haul nearly that good for a player so thoroughly exposed as Antawn -- would be great if we did, though.
Conrad: Antawn Jamison might have had the unluckiest career for an NBA player. He watched his Wizards teams collapse around him, got traded to the Cavs only to lose in the playoffs and see the team return to the cellar and then broke his pinky to end his season. How will the cosmos finally make it up to him this year?
Aaron: While it's hard to see any way that this becomes reality, the best way the cosmos could make it up to Tawn would be for him to land on a magical championship team and play 10-15 minutes a night as their change of pace vet on the bench. Realistically? Don't see that happening. He's an incredibly nice guy, but so long as he's your #2 or #3 guy, you aren't going to be a contender. You don't put up a big man as actively harmful on defense as he is without god tier offense, something Antawn never really had going for him. His best case scenario as an NBA player at this point will be on a team where he barely contributes and leeches his way to a ring. Other than that, I'd assume the cosmos will make it up to him by letting him look at the gobs of money he's earned in his career and be contented at knowing that he's gotten paid star-tier money for (frankly) relatively subpar performance. An empty consolation. Still. If I had to come up with a dream scenario at gunpoint for him, I'd have Otis Smith bite on a trade of Anderson, Turk, and picks for Antawn only for Dwight Howard to destroy all comers and win a vintage 1994 Hakeem-style title with Antawn picking up spot duty with Dwight there to cover his miscues. Barring that? Tough to see him end up in a good situation. Sorry, Tawn.