How does Jamison help Cleveland?

I don’t really understand why Cleveland traded for Antawn Jamison.  He’s a player in decline, and I can’t figure out how he fits into Cleveland’s rotation without taking minutes away from more productive players.

Two seasons ago Jamison had an MWS48 of +1.95, and a PWA of .833%.  He produced 10.5 wins for Washington and only 2.1 losses.   Last season he had an MWS48 of +0.97, and a PWA of .664%.  He produced 8.5 wins and 4.3 losses.  This season he has an MWS48 of +0.03, and a PWA of .508%.  He produced 3.3 wins and 3.3 losses.  See a pattern?

Now maybe he’s been sandbagging the last two seasons.  I highly doubt it.  But if so, the question would be “Why?”  And if so, what would that say about his character?  Again, I highly doubt he’s been playing rope-a-dope.  I think he’s simply a player on the downward side of his career arc.

Still though, he remains a decent player.  But he plays positions where the Cavs already have better than decent players.  After LeBron, PF Anderson Varejao is the team’s best win producer.  If you take minutes from him and give them to Jamison, that’s a net negative for Cleveland.  And there’s no room for him at SF.  Obviously you have LeBron there,  and backup Jamario Moon is also very productive.  Plus, he fits Cleveland’s makeup better than Jamison because he does not need the ball to produce.  So I don’t see where Jamison will help Cleveland.

Then you consider what Cleveland lost by trading away a declining but still valuable backup big man in Zydrunas Ilgauskas to get Jamison.  Ilgauskas isn’t as productive as he used to be, but as a backup center he is still quite valuable.  Last season Orlando’s Marcin Gortat showed the advantage a productive  backup at the center position can provide in the playoffs.  Cleveland did not have that in their series with the Magic and had to instead resort to using Varejao at backup center.  It didn’t work well.  I thought they had they shored up.  Now with this trade it looks like they’re back to the same situation.  Doesn’t make sense.

In fact, the whole thing doesn’t make sense.  This trade is a real headscratcher.  I can’t see Cleveland’s logic.   Jamison certainly doesn’t put them over the top.  In fact, they might have already had enough to get over the top before.  Now they might have weakened what looked like a very, very strong championship contender.

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7 Responses to “How does Jamison help Cleveland?”

  1. Palamida Says:

    The Jamison trade is just another story in Berri’s long list of overvaluing scoring.
    What you’re “missing” is the fact that Jamison throughout his career scores pts.
    he always was a “partial” player combining high scoring (with suspect efficiency, though above average) with a high rebound rate. He never did much else and that’s why he never was an elite or even close to an elite player.
    Most folks however see him as one. he’s always been overrated. 9 out 10 NBA fans,coaches etc. would argue that jamison is an upgrade over Hickson and\or Varejao. They would concur that he’s going on in years but simply say: Good for the Cavs! they wanna make sure they grab this championship in an attempt to convince Lebron to stay. They would argue that the Cavs KNOW that Jamison’s contract is simply terrible in the longer term but that the Cavs sights are set only to this season.
    So no, you’re not missing anything but the usual “Vp of common sense” kind of thinking that drives decision makers in the NBA.
    On a more realistic note, not only did they weaken themselves, if Lebron does leave, this trade will look even sillier.
    not as silly as the Rockets move though…. omg.
    How can you trade two wonderfully productive, underrated and underpaid gems for Kevin martin? Allowing Evans to play his natural position would do wonders for the Kings. Udrih\Evans\Casspi\Thompson -(Landry)\Dorsey.
    They can even go bigger and try to play Casspi at SG and Thompson\Landry at SF… yikes.
    that’s a playoff team. Hawes can fulfill his ultimate destiny as backup center :p.
    Offcourse that won’t happen and Dorsey will back him up….
    Dumb and dumber.

  2. tywill33 Says:

    Well argued. I concur!

  3. tywill33 Says:

    I have to go down to Chicago today… do you think they either need me to a.) Pick up Salmons or, b.) Drop Elson’s ass off??

    KT I’d drive somewhere in the vicinity of the United Center, at least he tried… Elson’s contribution to the Bucks will only get him to one of the Northern Suburban L Train hook-ups… he’s on his own after that!!

  4. brgulker Says:

    I see Jamison playing minutes at four with Verajoke at the 5.

    Mo Williams
    SG
    LBJ
    Jamison
    Verajoke

    There’s your crunch time lineup. Jamison can defend and rebound at PF, and AV can defend and rebound at C. Z may come back, but do you really want him out there on D during crunch time anymore? And of course, Shaq is on the bench during crunch time.

    IMO, they made this move with the playoffs in mind, and crunch time in the playoffs specifically.

    • tywill33 Says:

      I was in Chicago today and I caught part of their afternoon show on ESPN 1000, and they were saying Jamison at the 2 position. Would that work?

      Varejao at center is okay until he meets up with elite centers. He really got worked by D Howard last season.

      • Palamida Says:

        Ty ,

        “Varejao at center is okay until he meets up with elite centers. He really got worked by D Howard last season.”
        You’d do a post if an anchorman made a statement like that.
        Howard dismantled every Cav big in that series that’s for sure, but do you have any further data on Varejao matching up with “elite” centers?
        Personally I doubt he’s playing well at Center but as soon as he’s facing a really good one he becomes a liability.
        For example you pointed out how well Bogut matches up vs. natural Pf’s who play the Center position. That’s a real distinction. the notion that Varejao outplays most Centers and is outplayed by the “elite” ones just doesn’t compute. Perhaps u meant something else?

  5. Palamida Says:

    Brgulker, I have to say i’m a tad surprised.
    I’ve looked at the last 3 seasons of Varejao by position, (82games) and in all 3 he was basically better at Center. 2007/08 he split his time rather evenly between the positions, the last two he played the vast majority of his PT as PF.
    Since Shaq can’t take all the Center mins, and assuming Z won’t come back as a FA, right my first thought upon hearing of the trade was whose gonna play backup center?
    I doubt this was all Ferry’s master plan, :p , But if Hickson will lose mins to Jamison at PF, and Varejao will retain his PT or perhaps will even get more… (what a conundrum), most of the “new” PT at Center, The effect to the Cavs would in fact be a positive net gain.
    What do you think, Ty?
    You argue they had to “resort” to playing V. at Center, and perhaps (Didn’t look into that series, specifically) he did fair poorly in the Orlando series but the Data seems to point to him being a valuable 5, perhaps even more so than a 4…?

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