Did Danny Ferry and the Cavs Improve Their Chances for a Title by Trading for Antawn Jamison?

February 19, 2010 – 11:15 am by Chris Fedor

Over the past couple of seasons, Cavs General Manager Danny Ferry has had a knack for pulling off big trades and really not having to give up too much to make those trades a reality. He was able to essentially steal Mo Williams from Milwaukee and then he was able to essentially steal away Shaquille O’Neal from the Phoenix Suns this past off-season. Now, it looks like Danny Ferry has pulled off another heist and this time he received Antawn Jamison from the Washington Wizards. Antawn Jamison may be 33-years-old and come with a hefty price tag, but he is averaging a near double-double and he really hasn’t shown too many signs of slowing down.

Jamison gives the Cavs an All-Star caliber player to play next to LeBron James that will put a ton of pressure on the opponent’s defense. Not to mention, the Cavs were able to hang on to their young high rising power forward, J.J. Hickson, as well as a number of other players that they were rumored to have to give up to get a deal done. While the Cavs parted with Zydrunas Ilgauskas, there still is a chance that the Cavs get him back if he is released by the Wizards. The Cavs were already the best team in the Eastern Conference and had the best record in the NBA, but I think adding a player the caliber of Antawn Jamison makes the Cavs the favorites to win the NBA Championship.

Danny Ferry joined ESPN 850 WKNR in Cleveland with Kenny Roda to talk about bringing in Antawn Jamison, whether or not this trade was made to appease LeBron James, and whether or not he thinks the Cavs have the pieces now to win a Championship.

On whether or not Antawn Jamison was the Cavs number one target:

“Well, we had been trying to get Antawn for the last few years; from the time that he may have been available as a free agent until now. We just felt that he’s a great fit playing next to LeBron. A stretch four, a guy that can be a secondary scorer and a guy on any given night that can score 25 points. Adding that to a team and having a few guys on a team that can do that on any given night is important. We obviously looked at a lot of different things. I know there are a lot of rumors, a lot of teams and a lot of agents throwing out things. A lot of them untrue and some of them true. We waited through as much as we could to find what opportunities were out there. Ultimately this was an opportunity that was teed up yesterday and we decided to push the button and go for it. We’re excited to have Antawn with us.”

On whether or not the Cavs and Suns had conversations about Amar’e Stoudemire:

“Steve and I talked about a lot of different things around the trade deadline. We looked at one team to one team things and multiple team things with different players and everything. Without getting too specific, I think a lot of the speculation out there from the media and everything else is a little off but we did have conversations.”

On how tough it was to part with Zydrunas Ilgauskas:

“Without a doubt this was the toughest trade that I have been a part of. Zydrunas is truly special to this community and to this franchise. It’s a guy that his jersey is gonna be in the rafters here and it was a very difficult thing to do. I sat down with him at the beginning of the year, talked to him about how there were going to be a lot of rumors and at some point there may be a trade. He said Danny this is a business, I understand that and I’ll be professional. I want to be here though and hopefully that works out but I understand. Since the beginning of the year we really hadn’t talked about it since then. To his word, when I called him and told him, he handled it with class. He is obviously disappointed, but it was typical Zydrunas Ilgauskas fashion.”

On how he felt about the team before the trade and how he feels now:

“I felt as though we had a very good team and a team that was capable of possibly getting through the East and possibly winning a championship. We certainly respect here in Cleveland how tough that is and we certainly respect with the Cavaliers over the last four years being one of the best teams in the NBA how hard that is. I did think that getting a stretch four is important to this team especially as we go into the playoffs. Having a guy out there that can play that stretch four would be vital to us to handle more situations during the playoffs.”

On whether or not this move was made to try and keep LeBron in Cleveland:

“Kenny we’re trying to build the best team that we can for this year to win a championship and the best team going forward while balancing both of those things. If that’s the case then ‘Bron or any player would want to come back or want to play here. I think we’ve done a good job of building an organization and having a good culture with talented players and we always gotta keep trying to get better.”

Listen to Danny Ferry on ESPN 850 WKNR in Cleveland here

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