According to Bobcats beat writer Rick Bonnell, veteran forward Antawn Jamison will sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, spurning his hometown Bobcats and the Brooklyn Nets, who were both in hot pursuit for the former All Star. Terms have not yet been disclosed, but as the Lakers are over the salary cap, it will likely be for a modest amount (barring a sign-and-trade agreement). The Nets and Bobcats could have offered him more money, but Jamison turned them down as he is said to be looking for a chance to win an NBA championship.
While his efficiency plummeted the past few seasons, he still averaged 17 points and 6 rebounds last year for the Cavaliers at age 35. The Lakers will be hoping that in a more limited role, surrounded by better players, he can improve his efficiency, if not his raw output. A versatile stretch-power forward, Jamison can step out and hit the 3 point shot, and he will bring another element to the Lakers’ already deadly offense. The Lakers looked old and slow in their recent playoff exit, and their offseason moves (signing the 38 year old Steve Nash and the 36 year old Jamison) do little to help that, and they could be vulnerable defensively with the plodding Bynum, Gasol, and Jamison as the last line of defense behind the porous Nash.
However, talent is talent and it’s undeniable that the Lakers have improved their roster significantly. This team should be an extremely fun watch on the offensive end, and will likely be among the top 2 or 3 teams in the West again this year. And if the Lakers manage to pull off the much talked about trade for Dwight Howard, they could potentially be one of the favourites to win the NBA title.