In a previous article on GuysNation, a potential three-way deal involving the Washington Wizards trading Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood was discussed, and when the Wiz finally pulled the trigger on a deal, I almost wrote it up in a new article, but I decided to wait. The handwriting was on the lockerroom wall that team leader Antawn Jamison was going to be jettisoned as well. Now that two deals are done, let’s look at what happened.

The Wizards first deal was with the Dallas Mavericks, sending Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson to the city which hosts the Washington Redskins’ NFL football rivals in exchange for Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, James Singleton and Quinton Ross.

Though, not exactly.

Drew Gooden said he didn’t want to play for Washington, so there was talk of buying out his contract (a concept we’ll revisit later in the article), but in the end, he turned out to be part of a second deal the Wizards would make involving Jamison.

Everyone knew the Cleveland Cavaliers were going to be involved in a deal, though many thought it would involve bringing Amare Stoudamire in from Phoenix. The reports I heard were that Amare wasn’t the type of player who would fit into the Cav’s system, citing that Shaq and Stoudamire didn’t work well together in Phoenix and that Amare joining Cleveland would take Anderson Varejao off the floor – which changes the whole dynamic for LeBron & Crew.

The deal which did get made involves three franchises.

Cavaliers get: Antawn Jamison, Sebastian Telfair

Wizards get: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, rights to Emir Preldzic, 2010 first-round draft pick from Cavs and Al Thornton

Clippers get: Drew Gooden

So Cleveland gets a talented Forward who can play low and hit outside shots in Jamison. Drew Gooden gets his wish and doesn’t have to be a Wizard. Washington frees up a bunch of salary cap space and get the opportunity to get younger.

How does landing Zydrunas Ilgauskas qualify as getting younger? Because he’s never going to play for Washington. At least no more than a couple games. Every report I’m hearing is that Ilgauskas is going to seek a buyout from his contract, allowing him to return to the Cavaliers after 30 days.

And will it actually matter who has the rights to Emir Preldzic? Since the 2009 NBA Draft, the rights to the 6’9″ European forward has passed through more cities than a cheap trans-European flight has layovers. The Phoenix Suns originally had his rights, using the 57th overall pick in 2009, which they got through a trade from Orlando via Oklahoma City. They then traded the rights to Cleveland, who have now passed it along to the Wizards. Does he intend to leave the Turkish Euroleague when his 4 year contract ends next year? Who knows, but at this point, the Wizards’ deals seem to be focused more on dumping salary than anything.

I don’t think anyone will be happy to see Jamison leave Washington, including those who were involved in sending him elsewhere:

“Antawn Jamison has been the embodiment of leadership on and off the court for this franchise for five-and-a-half seasons and we thank him for all he has done for the Wizards and the city of Washington. Unfortunately, our on-court results have not met our expectations and we felt it was necessary to make changes to improve our future and our financial flexibility. This trade accomplished both of those objectives.”
– Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld

What Ernie Grunfeld means when he says “financial flexibility” is that the Wizards were able to free up the $28 million Jamison is still owed over the next two seasons by moving him.

It’s also evident that although Jamison will likely get to the Eastern Conference Finals this year playing alongside LeBron James out in Cleveland, he wasn’t extremely happy about leaving the Nation’s Capital.  Approached by reporters as he left the arena before Wednesday’s game, overcome by emotion, his only comment as he entered his car: “Not now.”

How did he feel about the team and its fans?

“You know I love them more than they love me.”

For a franchise who still has the rights to one of the least mature NBA “superstars” – Gilbert Arenas, they just got rid of a guy who was possibly the exact opposite.

“He’s one of the most professional guys I’ve ever been around.”
– Head Coach Flip Saunder

In summary, here’s who the four teams involved in Wizards-related trades landed:

Wizards get:
Josh Howard,
James Singleton,
Quinton Ross,
Al Thornton
***Zydrunas Ilgauskas***,
rights to ***Emir Preldzic***,
2010 first-round draft pick from Cavs

Mavericks get:
Caron Butler,
Brendan Haywood,
DeShawn Stevenson

Cavaliers get:
Antawn Jamison,
Sebastian Telfair

Clippers get:
Drew Gooden

Now if the Wizards could only find a way to get rid of “Agent 0” Gil Arenas, the rebuilding can be on its way.