Antawn Jamison may have improved his odds of winning a first NBA title by moving to a team with zero championships.
The veteran free agent agreed to a one-year contract with the Clippers on Monday for the veteran’s minimum of about $1.4 million, bolstering a bench that last season was among the best in the league.
“Ready to come and help out as much as possible,” said Jamison, who has career averages of 18.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists, “and hopefully I’m the piece that can take us to the top.”
Jamison, a 15-year veteran who spent last season with the Lakers on another minimum deal, has stated his desire to play for a title contender at this point in his career. He has never reached the conference finals in previous stints with the Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, Washington Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers and Lakers.
The 6-foot-9 forward had an uneven season with the Lakers, averaging career lows in points (9.4), rebounds (4.8), assists (0.7) and minutes (21.5) while shooting 46.4%. He underwent surgery in late April to repair an injured right wrist.
Jamison, 37, also suffered hurt feelings at times last season. He publicly criticized Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni for a lack of communication over his playing time and skipped exit interviews after the team was swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.
His new team appears poised to build on a season in which it won a franchise-record 56 games while capturing its first Pacific Division title. The Clippers re-signed star point guard Chris Paul and added sharpshooters J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley in addition to first-round draft pick Reggie Bullock.
The signing of Jamison would give the Clippers 14 players under contract for next season and presumably end any interest in re-signing Lamar Odom, who remains a free agent.
Jamison can play both forward positions, meaning he can back up power forward Blake Griffin and small forward Dudley.