If the Cleveland Cavaliers weren't already the team to beat in the NBA, they are now.
The Cavs grabbed 20-point-per-game forward Antawn Jamison from the Washington Wizards in a three-way deal that also sent Drew Gooden to the Los Angeles Clippers. Jamison will join suprstar LeBron James and old-timer Shaquille O'Neal in Cleveland, which already has the NBA's best record.
The Wizards received Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, a 2010 first-round draft pick and the rights to Emir Preldzic, who was
selected in the second round of last year's draft from Cleveland. Ilgauskas was coveted because his contracts expires at season's end, giving his new owners room under the salary cap.
Washington also received forward Al Thornton from Los Angeles. Cleveland gets guard Sebastian Telfair from the Clippers.
"Antawn is a great pro. We are very excited to have an experienced all-star player of Antawn's caliber and character join us," Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry said in a statement announcing the trade. "He has the ability to add a special, unique
dimension to our team with a strong inside presence and the ability to stretch teams defensively, while impacting the entire court."
Jamison, who had been with the Wizards since 2004, is averaging 20.5 points an 8.8 rebounds this season. He was not in uniform for Washington's game with Minnesota on Wednesday.
"Antawn Jamison has been the embodiment of leadership on and off the court for this franchise for five-and-a-half seasons and we
thank him for all he has done for the Wizards and the city of Washington," Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said. "Unfortunately, our on-court results have not met our expectations and we felt it was necessary to make changes to improve our future and our financial flexibility. This trade accomplished both of those objectives."
The NBA's trade deadline is at 3 p.m. Thursday.