Tuesday , Aug , 03 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Arenas and Jamison give Wizards a solid one-two punch

=== Arenas and Jamison give Wizards a solid one-two punch ===

By Warren Blatt, NBA Editor

(Sports Network) – The Washington Wizards big move this offseason came on the
night of the NBA Draft, as they acquired forward Antawn Jamison and cash
considerations from the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for guard Jerry
Stackhouse, forward Christian Laettner and the draft rights to guard Devin
Harris, who was selected out of Wisconsin by the Wizards with the fifth
overall pick.

By acquiring Jamison, who was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year this past
season, the Wizards re-unite him with starting point guard Gilbert Arenas. The
pair spent two seasons (2001-02, 2002-03, together as members of the Golden
State Warriors.

The 28-year-old Jamison, who was originally selected out of North Carolina by
Toronto in the first round (fourth pick overall) of 1998 NBA Draft and then
had his draft rights traded by the Raptors to Golden State for the draft
rights to Vince Carter and cash, played in all 82 regular-season games for
Dallas this past season and averaged 14.8 points and a career-low 6.3

“In obtaining Antawn Jamison, we have added a player who has outstanding
talent and gives us size and versatility in the frontcourt,” said Washington
general manager Ernie Grunfeld. “We gave up some talented players, but in this
league you have to give up talent to get talent.”

Jamison gives Washington some much needed scoring in the frontcourt. Forward
Kwame Brown averaged 10.9 points last season, which was the most by any
Wizards forward. During his six-year career, Jamison has averaged more than 20
points per game twice and has averaged 19.1 points in 418-career games.

Arenas, who signed as a free agent with the Wizards in August 2003, had a
solid first year with Washington. He did miss 27 games because of various
injuries, but he ended up averaging team-highs in points (19.6 ppg) and
assists (5.0 apg). The 6-3 also Arenas grabbed 4.6 rebounds per game.

Originally selected after his sophomore season at Arizona by Golden State in
the second round (31st pick overall) of the 2001 NBA Draft, the 22-year-old
Arenas has averaged 16.8 points, 4.2 boards and 5.2 assists during his three
years in the league.

With Arenas and Jamison on their roster, the Wizards have two players who can
score in bunches. Both players are capable of averaging 20-plus points per
night. Another positive about Washington’s new dynamic-duo is that both
players are young and should keep getting better.

The Wizards feel that they have two important pieces to their puzzle in place.
If Washington is able to surround Jamison and Arenas with players who can fill
certain roles, such as rebounding and tough defense, the Wizards could be
getting closer to turning the corner and contending for a playoff berth.

The 6-9 Jamison gives Washington, which last appeared in the postseason in
1997 when they were the Bullets, a forward who can knock down an outside
jumper as well as score in the low post. With Arenas running the point and
Jamison filling the lane, the Wizards have a solid one-two punch that should
be able to help the franchise finally get back to respectability.