JULY 25TH: The Lakers have officially signed Jamison, according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com (via Twitter).
JULY 18TH: The Lakers have agreed to terms with Antawn Jamison on a one-year deal worth the veteran's minimum, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer first reported earlier this week that Jamison had decided to become a Laker.
The decision is a little surprising, since Jamison could surely have landed a larger deal from another team, such as his hometown Bobcats. When the veteran forward discussed his free agency with Bonnell during the first week of July, it sounded as if he was leaning toward signing with Charlotte, but acknowledged that the opportunity to contend for a title would be tempting.
"The only thing left I haven’t accomplished is to be part of a championship team," Jamison said. "But the realization is signing with Miami or L.A. or Boston doesn’t mean it’s a shoo-in [a title run] would happen…. Spending two or three seasons [on a title contender] increases the chances, but it’s not guaranteed.
Even with no guarantee of a title, Jamison makes the Lakers that much more dangerous. Los Angeles has managed to add Jamison and Steve Nash to its roster this offseason without its mid-level exception, which GM Mitch Kupchak has indicated the team doesn't plan to use this summer.
Jamison saw his shooting averages dip to .403/.341/.683 in Cleveland last season, but still managed to average 17.2 PPG, along with a 16.1 PER. Surrounded by Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum, Jamison will likely see a bump in his offensive efficiency, even at age 36.