While a formal offer has not been laid out by the franchise just yet, it appears that all signs point to former Cleveland Cavaliers forward and 15-year veteran Antawn Jamison signing on to play with the Los Angeles Lakers next season, according to a report by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports reports that while the Lakers have yet to offer a contract to Jamison, he will in fact be meeting with the team on Tuesday where a deal will more than likely come into fruition.
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 averaged 17.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 65 games last season for the Cavaliers.
Grade for Lakers: B +
“Father Time” has clearly caught up with Jamison after 15 seasons in the NBA, but he is still an excellent signing for a Lakers team which is in desperate need of consistent scoring off the bench.
Jamison did average a solid 17.2 points a game for the Cavs in 2012, but he shot a terrible 40% from the field to do so.(career-low).
He is also isn’t much of a defender, but his ability to score the basketball overshadows any deficiencies he has on the defensive end. Playing alongside great defensive-minded players in Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum will also help compensate for his lack of ability to defend at a high level.
His flaws at this stage of his career may be overbearing at times, but Jamison still has a lot to offer, especially to a team with championship aspirations. His ability to stretch the defense with his three-point shooting (a career 34.6% shooter from deep), defend multiple positions with his 6’9 frame (small forward/power forward = versatility) and bring subtle intangibles to a winning locker room/environment (leadership, mentor to young players, positive attitude) makes this acquisition all the more valuable to this franchise.
The Lakers bench was pretty awful last season, averaging just 20.5 points a game (dead last in the league). L.A didn’t necessarily have that one go-to-guy that they could call off the bench to give them 20-25 minutes an outing and provide instant offense (something they had with Lamar Odom in years past).
Jamison can be/will be that guy now for the Lakers. His scoring average last season nearly toppled the numbers of the entire Lakers bench.
That’s reason enough to be excited about Jamison’s arrival.
Antawn has a reputation around the league for being one of the nicest, most liked/respected players in the sport. I’m sure many fans and players alike will be happy to see him join a team which is making one gigantic push towards a championship title in 2012-2013.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports