Lamar Odom takes his business personally.
NBA players use a variation of the line “this is a business” about the NBA more than they say they “gave 110 percent” or that they “left it all on the floor.” It is as common as NBA groupies around he league.
But the Lakers almost trading him to New Orleans as part of the failed Chris Paul trade wasn’t just business for Odom, he was personally offended. Here is what he said, via the Orange County Register.
“It wasn’t about going to New Orleans. It was just about how they did it,” Odom told reporters Tuesday. “I felt a little disrespected. After being here for so long and going through so many things, I felt like they could have just told me and I probably would have accepted it.
“If someone is telling you that you can’t be here or there’s no more room for you, you got to understand that. I think because it’s just how they did it is the reason why I took it so personal.”
Should the Lakers have told him, or is that just the way of the new Jim Buss regime in Los Angles? Things were moving fast, but a heads up seems the courteous move.
The result was Odom asking to be traded and the Lakers shipping him off to Dallas for a trade exception and future pick.
That didn’t sit well with Kobe Bryant or other Lakers. Odom was a very popular teammate and a guy the locker room trusted to show up in big games. On a team where Kobe is the bad cop and Derek Fisher the good cop, Odom was the guy who put his arm around you and talked to you like a brother. That mattered.
Now the defending champions have him. And the Lakers have to face Odom a lot. Which also doesn’t make Kobe happy.
DeAndre Ayton will go No. 1 to the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. Marvin Bagley III probably goes second to Sacramento (but that’s not a lock).
After that, things get wide open in the 2018 NBA Draft. Teams value different players at very different levels this year, and there are going to be a number of trades.
Which makes putting together a mock draft for this year more random than a roulette wheel. Not that it stopped me. Here is my final mock draft for the 14 lottery picks. I present it without much confidence, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.
The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.
And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.
He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.
Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.
If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.
Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.
Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.
Young, via TMZ:
“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”
Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:
Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.
The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.
Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.
So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.
Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.