The Cleveland Cavaliers have become title favorites Wednesday after acquiring two-time All-Star
The three-team deal sends Jamison and
Now watch for news of an expected buyout by Washington of Ilgauskas, which would enable the 7-foot-3 center to return to Cleveland after 30 days to come off the bench and match up with the Lakers in the NBA Finals.
Jamison was warming up with his Wizards teammates Wednesday before their game in Washington against the Timberwolves when he was pulled off the court and informed of the trade.
Two things stand out about this trade. First was that Cleveland was in the driver's seat -- the Cavs and the Mavericks being the only contenders willing to take on longterm contracts -- and that general manager
Second is that this trade, more than anything, is proof that the current collective bargaining agreement is broken and badly in need of overhaul. If the team with the best record can acquire a no-nonsense star like Jamison and then retrieve an asset like Ilgauskas, something is seriously wrong with the system. No one can say there is anything dirty about an Ilgauskas buyout either, because it is in the best interests of the Wizards to pursue such an agreement to limbo themselves under the luxury tax, and Ilgauskas may well decide it is his ambition to return home to Cleveland in order to avoid disrupting his young family. The current CBA has essentially leveraged this deal, with Ferry knowing how to manipulate it in his team's favor.
No one can say any longer there isn't star power around LeBron. Perhaps this confluence of talent will help influence his decision as a free agent in July?
As for the Wizards, this deal isn't a bad move for them in this oppressive market. They wind up receiving the first-round pick of the Cavs and Al Thornton as a promising young player from the Clippers -- comparable to what Phoenix was proposed by Cleveland for Stoudemire, when the Cavs were said to be offering their No. 1 and Hickson. After they unloaded
The Clippers gain the expiring $4.5 million salary of Gooden, who -- if he isn't bought out to return to Dallas -- will serve as a short-term frontcourt replacement for the departed