It’s not quite Dwight Howard… actually, he’s nothing like Dwight Howard. Especially if you talk defense.
But it is a better signing than a lot of people realize.
The Lakers have agreed to a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal for 14-year NBA veteran Antawn Jamison, tweets Mark Spears of Yahoo Sports.
Jamison was given a heavy offensive responsibility with a terrible Cavaliers team last season and averaged 17.2 points (on just 40.3 percent shooting) and 6.8 boards a game. He shot 34.1 percent from three, and had a PER of 16.1, above the league average.
This season, he can come in off the bench, play fewer minutes and shoot a higher percentage letting the offense come to him because the Lakers have no shortage of other offensive weapons opposing defense have to account for (Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and every fourth game Metta World Peace).
The only concern for Lakers fans should be that Jamison is a one-way player any more — the Cavaliers defense got 8 points per 100 possessions better when he sat down last season.
Still, smart pickup by the Lakers. Good veteran player who can help out at an affordable price. The kind of pickup contending teams make.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.
After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.
So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?
Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.
The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.
Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.