It is going to be weird seeing Lamar Odom on the Dallas Mavericks. After all, Dallas was the team that swept the Los Angeles Lakers out of the playoffs last season, and the Lakers will reportedly dump the Sixth Man of the Year for merely a draft pick and a trade exception. Presumably the Lakers will use that flexibility to pursue Dwight Howard, but giving up Odom they better be sure.
In addition to the $8.9 million trade exception, the Lakers will receive a first round draft pick from Dallas. But the Mavericks control when the Lakers receive the pick. Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reported that the pick is protected if its in the top 20, and Dallas has six years to give that pick to the Lakers.
For the Mavericks there is certainly risk, as their move could have paved the way for Howard to come to Los Angeles. But it was a shrewd move to get Odom, who at the very least improves their team and also has a friendly contract that gives them flexibility should they decide to move him.
But for the Lakers, their endgame is Howard. It has to be. Sending a highly productive player to a rival as a salary dump as a standalone move doesn't make sense otherwise. Saurav A. Das at Silver Screen and Roll tried to comprehend the move:
With Jerry Buss having recently been hospitalised for blood clots, it's evident whose decision this was. This is Jim Buss' moment of truth - a truly insane gamble. Within the next few days we'll know if he's as brilliant, if not more, than his father, or simply the incompetent and foolish prat many of us had labelled him as previously. And the Lakers' future hangs in the balance.
We'll find out pretty soon just what the corresponding move, if any, will be.
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