Despite Mitch Kupchak's denial that the Charlotte Observer was correct in stating that Antawn Jamison had chosen to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, sources are now reporting that the Lakers have officially agreed with Jamison on a one-year deal for the league-minimum. Even though I reported yesterday that Jamison had already agreed to join the Lakers - via the same source that Kupchak later denied - it turns out that perhaps Kupchak was downplaying its significance and Jamison is now a Laker.
Why would Kupchak deny the deal? Perhaps he had bigger deals in the works. (And when I say bigger deals, I mean it as in working towards acquiring Dwight Howard.)
I won't say it explicitly, but I can imagine that perhaps Kupchak's tight-lipped angle on even something as trivial as the signing of Antawn Jamison could indicate his unwillingness to talk about any other rumors as well - including the possible acquisition of Dwight Howard himself.
In any case, reports now indicate that the Cleveland Cavaliers are the third team that could facilitate a trade that would send Andrew Bynum to the Cavaliers, Howard to the Lakers, and then Anderson Varejao would go from the Lakers to the Orlando Magic along with draft picks. Talks have heated up, but no official word has been released as to what exactly the deal will be and when it would be executed.
I'm not sure exactly what is taking the deal so long to be completed. Perhaps it is the fact that the Lakers want Howard to commit long-term before they strike a deal or perhaps talks are just now becoming intense and will start moving along. I saw several times along ESPN's bottom line yesterday (July 17) that the Lakers were sitting down with the Magic to get more serious about trade talks involving Bynum and Howard. Hopefully the increased activity means increased likelihood of Howard making his way to Los Angeles.
I normally don't like to get ahead of myself, but at times like this I can't help but let my mind wander. Just imagine this lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers:
PG Steve Nash
SG Kobe Bryant
SF Metta World Peace
PF Pau Gasol
C Dwight Howard
Not to mention you would have Antawn Jamison and others coming off the bench to help correct the Lakers' issues with their bench offensively.
Aside from Howard not wanting to commit long-term another snag could be Bynum not wanting to commit long-term to wherever he is dealt. He and Howard are in the same boat contractually - with only this coming season remaining on both of their current contracts - and it could be either of the two who are holding up the deal. Other than those two factors, I don't see what could be holding up the sides. In any case, I am happy that Jamison is now a member of the Lakers and I can only hope that Howard is a Laker come next season. I don't want to get too cocky, but a Lakers' championship would be expected if they could acquire Howard.
Food for thought: Are the Lakers now on the precipice of acquiring Dwight Howard or is this just another deal that will crumble apart?
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
MercuryNews.com. Lakers sign Antawn Jamison to One-Year Deal. NBA 2012.
ESPN.com. Cavaliers in Dwight Howard talks. NBA 2012.
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