Mavs vote not to give Odom playoff share; but you can trade for him

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The Dallas Mavericks are going to get a little playoff money — not much at all considering their first round sweep — but Lamar Odom isn’t going to see any of it.

Mavericks teammates voted not to give Odom a share of the team’s playoff money, reports the Star-Telegram.

That’s because the Mavs players voted Sunday not to give Odom a share of the playoff money they earned this season.

Instead, the Mavs decided to split their pool of money for finishing with the seventh-best record in the Western Conference and making the playoffs with the remaining 14 players on their roster. With the total pot being $281,937, that means each player will receive $20,138.32.

It speaks to how the Mavs players feel about Odom, but to me it’s also fair. He was happy to walk away from the team to help get his head on straight. It’s about effort — if guy 14 on the bench doesn’t have the talent to contribute much but he shows up to every practice and puts in the effort, if he is there when called on he has been part of the team. Was Odom really ever part of the Mavs?

Dallas let him walk away from the team but they did not release him — they still have him under contract. Which has one more year on it at $8.3 million, but he can be bought out for $2.4 million if you do it by June 29.

June 29 is one day after the NBA draft, and the Mavericks are shopping Odom around now for a draft-day trade, reports ESPNDallas.com.

Expect him to get moved and bought out and become a free agent. Then, wherever he signs next year (I would be a place he is comfortable having played there before, one of the two Los Angeles teams or Miami) he will play well again. His head will be back on right. And Mavs fans will be even more ticked off.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?