I wrote an article yesterday at Cleveland.com in support of the very real possibility that the Cleveland Cavaliers could bring Antawn Jamison back next season once his $15 million contract expires at the end of this one. At a reasonable contract number, with Antawn coming off the bench, I not only think it makes some sense for this team moving forward, but I also think there’s a pretty good chance it happens.
Here is a link to that if you missed it, and an excerpt below:
Which is all why I now believe that Antawn Jamison could be a bridge to the Cavaliers future. One more year of consistent scoring as Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, and the starting shooting guard they hopefully draft in the Lottery continue to develop as NBA players. So if the Cavs were able to re-sign Jamison to a one-year contract next season, at a reasonable number, I’d applaud the move. By reasonable, I’d go as high as a one-year, $6.5 million deal for the 14-year veteran who turns 36-years old next season if needed. I’d start at the $5 million figure that was suggested over the weekend, and be willing to go just over a mid-level exception offer that might come in from another team at around $5.5 million.
Once Jamison’s $15 million contract comes off the books at season’s end, the Cavs will have about $20 million in cap space to work with. Antawn would have to agree to obviously come off the bench behind Tristan Thompson in order for this scenario to work, but I get the impression he’d be willing to do that. Outside of using that cap space to sign the two First Round Draft Picks the Cavaliers will add this June, and maybe one of the two Second Round Selections, I don’t see that money being spent anywhere else either. Byron Scott, Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and the rest of next season’s Cavaliers team are already familiar with Jamison too, and that continuity would provide additional value in these early years of the rebuilding process as well.
Key points here: For one season. At $6.5 million max. He comes off the bench. The Cavaliers still start one or both of their first round rookie draft picks. If those rookies, in combination with Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, play so well that you don’t need Jamison, then leave him on the bench. The Cavaliers will have money to spend and I don’t think right now is the best time to commit long-term to a free agent who’d command about $5 or $6 million per season over multiple seasons. Donyell Marshall, Damon Jones, and Larry Hughes don’t think so either. At the trade deadline, Antawn Jamison and Luke Walton then become expiring deals you can move totaling around $13 or $14 million. Think about it people, don’t be so reactionary. You need points in the NBA, Jamison can get you 10.