Mavs move Jamison to Wizards for two, 5th pick
Updated: Thursday June 24, 2004 2:03AM
NEW YORK (SI.com) -- The Dallas Mavericks have traded Antawn Jamison to the Washington Wizards for Christian Laettner, Jerry Stackhouse and the No. 5 pick in Thursday's draft, league sources confirmed to SI.com's Ian Thomsen.
The Mavericks likely are trying to package a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers to acquire Shaquille O'Neal, but sources also said the Mavs are looking to deal down from No. 5. Dallas is eyeing Pavel Podkolzine, a 7-foot-5, 300-pound center from Russia, and it believes he will be available later in the first round.
Dallas did not have a first-round pick in Thursday night's draft, having traded it last summer to Boston in the deal for Antoine Walker.
The Wizards had made it clear they weren't enamored with any of their choices at the top of the draft. Taking Jamison, a proven scorer over his six-year career in Dallas and Golden State, is a much safer move.
Jamison, a six-year veteran, averaged 14.8 point last season and joins his third team in as many year. He was originally drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 1998 before he was traded to Dallas before last season as part of a nine-player deal.
For the Mavericks, all moves for the immediate future will be viewed as positioning for a prospective trade for O'Neal.
Other than the pick/Podkolzine aspect, the benefit of getting Laettner is that he's going into the last year of his contract, like Walker. That makes them commodities because their salaries -- a combined $20.8 million -- would open huge cap room next summer.
Their combined salaries puts Dallas much closer to the $25 million needed to get within the league-mandated 15 percent of O'Neal's $29.5 million price tag.
It's unlikely the Lakers would be interested in Stackhouse, who is due $7 million next season, $7.5 million the following year and $8 million after that.
Stackhouse averaged 13.9 points last year, and the Mavs are the fourth team he's been on since 1995.
Laettner, who started 18 of 48 games last season, averaged 5.9 points. He played with Dallas in 2000-01 before being dealt to the Wizards during that season.
Dallas acquired Jamison last summer expecting to pair him at forward with Dirk Nowitzki, then bumped him to the bench when Walker arrived during training camp. He accepted the demotion and savored the team's success as he made the playoffs for the first time.
He was rewarded by earning the league's Sixth Man award, but made it clear he wanted to be a starter next season. Trading Walker, which the Mavs are certainly trying to do, would have cleared a spot for him, but Dallas apparently felt this deal moves them closer to their ultimate goal of O'Neal.
For Jamison, going to another losing team will certainly diminish the fact he'll be starting again. The Wizards haven't made the playoffs since 1997 and haven't won a postseason game since 1988.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.