Warriors trade Jamison to Mavs

The Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors finally completed a nine-player trade featuring Antawn Jamison and Nick Van Exel.

The Mavericks acquired Jamison, forwards Danny Fortson and Chris Mills and guard Jiri Welsch for Van Exel, centre Evan Eschmeyer, guard Avery Johnson plus forwards Popeye Jones and Antoine Rigaudeau.

Jamison, 27, joins a star-studded Mavericks lineup featuring Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley, Raef Lafrentz and Victoria's Steve Nash.

"I had a dream last night," Jamison said. "Nash running the point, me and Finley on the wings and Dirk trailing us.

"This is an ideal situation for me."

"We felt no internal pressure in making the deal," Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. "Our philosophy was almost the complete opposite.

"(But) this makes us bigger and younger and more versatile."

Equally important for the Mavericks is that Jamison is entering only the second year of a six-year, $80-million US contract.

"It's a move that makes sense not only in the short term, but it keeps us healthy three or four years down the line," Nelson said.

Jamison made 82 starts last season and led Golden State with 22.2 points per game -- ranked 13th in the NBA -- and a .470 field-goal percentage.

The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 20.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 36.5 minutes in 336 games over five seasons with the Warriors.

"My rebounding should go up a lot," Jamison 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."

Jamison was originally drafted fourth overall as a junior out of North Carolina in 1998 by the Toronto Raptors, who promptly peddled his negotiating rights to Golden State for those of Vince Carter and cash.

"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."

Van Exel, 31, averaged 12.5 points, 27.8 minutes in one start and 72 appearances off the Mavericks bench last season.

The feisty point guard upped his scoring average to 19.5 points in the playoffs.

Van Exel has averaged 15.5 points, 7.2 assists and 34.7 minutes in 723 games over 10 NBA seasons since being drafted in the second round -- 37th overall -- by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1993.

The Cincinnati product has also played for the Denver Nuggets.

Johnson, 38, has averaged 8.5 points and 5.7 assists over 1,008 games with the Seattle SuperSonics, Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Warriors and Mavericks.

Jones, 33, has posted career averages of 7.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in 530 NBA games with the Mavericks, Raptors, Boston Celtics, Nuggets and Washington Wizards.

Eschmeyer played only 17 games in his second season with Dallas while Rigaudeau, his French-born teammate, made 11 appearances after signing a free-agent contract in January.

"We're extremely excited about this deal," Warriors general manager Garry St. Jean said. "In the short term, we have added talented players to our roster while also providing an opportunity for some of our younger players to step up and play larger roles in our overall development."

Mills, 33, managed a mere 21 appearances for Golden State in 2002-03, averaging 4.8 points.

As for Fortson, he averaged 3.5 points in 17 games.

"I'm really motivated," Fortson said. "I might just explode the first game.

"I look forward to getting out there and playing again."

Welsch averaged 1.6 points and 6.3 minutes in 37 games during his rookie campaign.

with files from Sports Network