UPDATE 8:25 pm: It is now official, the Lakers have traded Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for a first round pick (restricted, starting top 20 this year) and a second rounder.
Dallas fits him in using the salary exception from the Tyson Chandler trade. The Lakers get their own $8.9 million trade exception to try and lure in some front line help.
And Khloe is sobbing quietly in the corner.
It came up last night at the moment the Lakers pulled out of the Chris Paul traded, but it something we should not just gloss over.
Lamar Odom will very soon be a member of the Dallas Mavericks, traded from the Lakers for a first-round pick — top 20 protected this season and with some protections all the way to 2017 — and an $8.9 million trade exception.
Odom was unhappy after his name came up in the Paul deal and did not practice with the Lakers the last two days.
It makes for an interesting season for Dallas, but this is a savvy pickup. Very Mark Cuban move in it being opportunistic. True, they have a versatile power forward in the form of one Dirk Nowitzki, but they just added the NBA’s reigning sixth man of the year while really giving up nothing. Odom is as versatile a player as there is in the league, he can be a point forward, play in the post, start or come off the bench. There are roles for him.
This year’s Mavericks will look a lot different than the team that won the title, but they will be interesting and with some serious weapons.
For the Lakers, this looks like a salary dump, but one that gives then a large trade exception to bring in another key piece later. You have to think GM Mitch Kupchak has a plan (whether Jim Buss has a plan is still up for debate).
Kobe Bryant said at practice that he didn’t like the trade. He added he didn’t expect Mark Cuban to protest this one.
This move doesn’t help them get Dwight Howard, the trade exception is not large enough to take Hedo Turkoglu’s contract back. That is the price of entry to the Howard sweepstakes — you have to take Turkoglu’s three years, $32.8 million on. To make that work the Lakers have to trade out Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol… which leaves the Lakers with a pretty depleted front line even if they get Howard. They would need depth.
While the league has not yet signed off on this, know that the deal is all but done.
So enjoy this season of Khloe & Lamar in Dallas.