- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Washington Wizards have agreed to trade Jerry Stackhouse, Christian Laettner and the No.5 pick overall in today’s NBA Draft to the Dallas Mavericks for Antawn Jamison, a league source confirmed last night.

Attempts to reach Wizards president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld last night were unsuccessful, but the source said the deal would be announced perhaps as early as today.

The trade makes sense for the Wizards. They went into the offseason hoping to add an established frontcourt player, but there was no one available on the free agent market to guide a group of decent but young players that includes Kwame Brown, Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas.

Washington realized it was not going to solve its search for another big man in a draft that featured mostly guard and wing players. With the fifth pick, the Wizards would have been looking at players like Andre Iguodala (Arizona), Josh Childress (Stanford) and perhaps Luol Deng (Duke).

The trade will reunite Jamison, 28, with good friend Gilbert Arenas. The pair played together two seasons ago with the Golden State Warriors before the Wizards signed Arenas as a free agent and the Warriors traded Jamison to the Mavericks.

The Mavericks reportedly made the deal to create more cap space in order to try and acquire disgruntled Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal.

Jamison, who is scheduled to make $12million next season, is signed through 2007-08. The 6-foot-9 forward was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the No.4 pick overall in the 1998 draft, then sent to Golden State for former University of North Carolina teammate Vince Carter, who was the No.5 pick that year.

Jamison had his best year with the Warriors in 2000-01, when he averaged a career-best 24.9 points and 8.7 rebounds. After averaging 22.2 points in 2002-03, he was involved in a nine-player deal that sent him to the Mavericks. In Dallas, he found himself buried in a mix of All-Star caliber forwards that also included Dirk Nowitzki, Antoine Walker and Michael Finley. A starter for his entire career, Jamison came off the bench last season and wound up winning the league’s sixth man award.

Stackhouse, the third pick overall by Philadelphia in the 1995 draft, was acquired by Washington in a deal that sent Richard Hamilton to the Detroit Pistons in the summer of 2002. Hamilton, of course, helped lead the Pistons to the NBA title earlier this month.

Stackhouse, a two-time All-Star, averaged 21.5 points in his first year with the Wizards. However, he and Michael Jordan, whom the Wizards did not retain as president of basketball operations when he retired as an active player after the 2002-03 season, reportedly often butted heads.

Stackhouse had knee surgery at the start of last season and never fully recovered, appearing in just 26 games and starting 17. He averaged a career-low 13.9 points.

Following a home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Stackhouse declared that he would take the rest of the season off to expedite the healing of his knee without the consent of Grunfeld or coach Eddie Jordan. However, after sitting out a few games, he returned to the team as a reserve.

Last summer Wizards owner Abe Pollin gave Stackhouse an $18million extension through 2007.

Laettner, who was not in the team’s plans, is in the last year of a contract that would pay him just under $6.2million. A clause in his contract will boost that amount by 15 percent unless he has agreed to waive it. He served a five-game suspension last season for violating the league’s drug policy.

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