With all the talk of superstar center Dwight Howard potentially being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in the near future, the acquisition of veteran forward Antawn Jamison has taken a backseat to all the trade speculation in Los Angeles.
As a way to show some support for the newest member of the team, Lakers legend Magic Johnson welcomed Jamison to Los Angeles via Twitter:
Welcome to the @Lakers Antawn Jamison
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) July 19, 2012
Even though the Lakers are hard at work to acquire Howard in a blockbuster trade that would send Andrew Bynum to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the storied NBA franchise made sure to address one of the biggest weaknesses this summer with the addition of Jamison to the bench.
After agreeing to sign a one-year deal with the Lakers, Jamison will become Lakers Coach Mike Brown’s best offensive weapon off the bench in Los Angeles. With Jamison averaging 17.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season, the veteran forward still has what it takes to contribute and was the number one free agent target of the Lakers during the off-season.
Once Jamison returns from a vacation in Italy, the former North Carolina standout will sign a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million. Despite receiving more lucrative offers from the Brooklyn Nets and Charlotte Bobcats, Jamison chose to go the classy route by deciding to compete for a championship in Los Angeles rather than taking more money to play elsewhere.
The next veteran free agent that might be in the Lakers’ crosshairs is Jermaine O’Neal. After working out O’Neal in Las Vegas, Nevada earlier this week, the Lakers might be willing to take a chance on the veteran big man with O’Neal reportedly willing to sign for the veteran’s minimum with a legitimate NBA title contender. There seems to be a mutual interest between O’Neal and the Lakers, but recent reports have the Milwaukee Bucks also showing interest in signing the 33-year-old.