Jamison already dreaming big in Dallas
DALLAS -- Antawn Jamison doesn't anticipate any problems fitting in with his new teammates in Dallas. He's already dreaming big about what he hopes to be able to do with the Mavericks' trio of NBA All-Stars.
"I had a dream last night, Nash running the point, me and Finley on the wings and Dirk trailing us. This is an ideal situation for me," Jamison said Tuesday, a day after the nine-player deal with Golden State that brought him to Dallas was approved by the league.
"For me to come from a situation as far as the Warriors to the situation I'm in now, to have the opportunity to win a championship, it's like a dream come true," he said. "I'm still trying to slap myself and make sure this is really happening."
When asked how his dream turned out, he held up his left hand revealing a ring he recently got. He then held up his bare right hand and envisioned a championship ring there.
Coach Don Nelson just smiled. The Mavericks, who made it to the Western Conference finals for only the second time last season, share the same dream.
Dallas made its first major offseason move with the acquisition of Jamison, guard Jiri Welsch and forwards Danny Fortson and Chris Mills. The Mavericks sent guards Nick Van Exel, Avery Johnson and Antoine Rigaudeau, center Evan Eschmeyer and forward Popeye Jones to Golden State.
While it was difficult to give up Van Exel, who backed up Steve Nash, shared the floor at times with the starting point guard and was a key motivator during the playoffs, this was a deal the Mavericks couldn't pass up.
"When you make a good trade, you have to give up good players," Nelson said. "This trade made us bigger, gave us more inside presence and we're a little younger. It should be a positive for us."
Plus, Dallas didn't have to mess with the trio of Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley.
The 6-foot-9 Jamison has averaged 20.2 points in five NBA seasons, and was the Warriors' top scorer the past four seasons. He is going into only the second year of his $80 million, seven-year contract.
While he won't always be the first option for Dallas like he was in Golden State, that's OK with Jamison, the fourth player selected in the 1998 NBA draft out of North Carolina.
"My rebounding should go up a lot," he said. "I'm not in a situation that I have to carry the load as far as scoring a lot. This is the best situation."
With Jamison at small forward, Finley will be able to play shooting guard.
Still, Nelson believes that Fortson could be "the key to the trade" if the 6-8, 260-pound forward provides the inside force he has been in parts of six NBA seasons.
Fortson has averaged 17.5 rebounds per 48 minutes played in his career, and was fourth in the league with 11.7 rebounds a game two seasons ago. Fortson missed part of camp last fall after his father died, then played just 17 games after he returned because of injuries and conditioning problems, and what he called just a bad situation with the Warriors.
"I'm really motivated," said Fortson, going into the fourth year of a $38 million, seven-year deal. "I might just explode the first game. I look forward to getting out there and playing again."
Welsch was the Warriors' first-round pick in 2002, preventing the Mavs from then getting the 6-7 player from the Czech Republic. Donnie Nelson, the team's president of basketball operations, said the deal wouldn't have been completed without Welsch.
But the Mavericks still have to add some depth at point guard. Don Nelson said the team is searching for a veteran to back up Nash.
"We have some really good players. If Nash stayed healthy, we could probably cover ourselves with what we have," he said. "If Steve went down for any length of time, we would need a veteran to step in there. So we're looking to fill that void."
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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