The Cleveland Cavaliers have made significant progress in trade discussions with the Washington Wizards, offering Zydrunas Ilgauskas(notes), Jamario Moon(notes) and a No. 1 draft pick for Antawn Jamison(notes) and Mike James(notes), sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Some league sources believe this is a deal that is preferable to some members of the Cavaliers’ management and coaching staffs over Amar’e Stoudemire(notes), but Cleveland still hasn’t made a decision on which trade to ultimately make. Other trade proposals that intrigue the Cavs are still emerging on the landscape, but the focus now is on Jamison or Stoudemire.
Washington is still trying to squeeze possibly another pick or young player out of the Cavs, but sources say it’s possible a deal could get done without J.J. Hickson(notes). As it stands, both sides believe they have the framework of a workable deal.
Despite LeBron James’(notes) desire for Stoudemire, sources say some within the Cavs aren’t completely sold that acquiring the Phoenix Suns All-Star forward is the best move at the trade deadline. The front office and coaching staffs have to walk delicately when dealing with James on these trade scenarios, because ultimately he has to buy into the move they make.
“I don’t think that Phoenix believes that its deal for Amar’e is Cleveland’s No. 1 choice anymore,” says a league source briefed on both team’s discussions.
Some Cavs officials are intrigued with Stoudemire, but believe that Jamison – and potentially other targets – could be a better fit. Stoudemire would bring dramatic change to a team that has won 13 straight and currently owns the NBA’s best record.
The Cavs may still do the Stoudemire deal, but not without some level of pause.
James’ desire to play with Stoudemire has been a major reason why the Cavaliers and Suns are so deep in negotiations. James has told Cavs management he can make things work among Stoudemire, Shaquille O’Neal(notes) and himself. Ultimately, that task will fall upon him far more than coach Mike Brown.
Talks with the Wizards were ongoing on Tuesday and sources believe the Cavs were approaching Washington general manager Ernie Grunfeld’s demands. For a long time, Cleveland – and others around the league – truly doubted Grunfeld’s willingness to part with Jamison, but that’s changed in the past few days, especially after the Wizards dealt Caron Butler(notes).
Washington has been talking with Miami on a potential trade for Jamison, but much like the Suns, the Wizards don't like what the Heat are offering.
As opposed to proposals from the Heat, sources says, the deal with Cleveland would give Washington more cap relief this summer.