Perhaps the Lakers had no other option. Maybe it was a salary dump. Could be that the Lakers were trying to do Lamar Odom a favor. Whatever the case, the short lived Chris Paul trade drama has now done collateral damage. In a somewhat head scratching move, the Lake Show has traded with the enemy.
According to the L.A. Times, Odom is being shipped off to Dallas for a first round pick in 2012 and could receive an addition pick as well. Whatever comes of that pick, likely to be one situated late in round one, will not come close to doing for the team what Odom has.
Some speculation is that the move was a straight salary dump. If that is the case this could go down as one of the worst trades in franchise history. In one player the Lakers gained so much from the presence of Odom. On the court he is an unselfish, versatile and dynamic player capable of doing so many things that his game is referred to as the Swiss army knife. Off the court Odom is among the most likeable men in the game. His locker room presence, like his contributions off the bench, will be impossible to replace.
The other speculation is that the Lakers are putting together a deal for Dwight Howard. If that’s the case then the pick from the Mavs could come in handy along with one Andrew Bynum who will no doubt be the lynchpin to a Howard trade.
But all of that is pure rumor. What is real is that the Lakers have unnecessarily lost size, depth and character. At the same time they’ve helped to improve the defending champs which just so happens to be the same squad that leveled the Lakers last year in the playoffs.
It could be argued that the Lakers had no other choice but to move Odom. Lamar didn’t take the news of his imminent move to New Orleans well. So distraught was Odom that he showed up 90-minutes late for the first practice of the season and stayed for only 15 minutes. The day of the trade Odom conducted a tear-filled interview with Stephen A. Smith in which he expressed his frustrations.
Those frustrations tem from the fact that Odom was never notified of the potential trade. He had to learn the same way the rest of us did. Yet another communication gaff on behalf of Jim Buss. Notice a trend here?
By giving Odom a job on a title contender the Lakers have shown some class. Yet by moving Odom to a clear rival the Lakers have also made their own road to the title even more difficult. Time is the only tool one can use to place value on a trade. In the moment, this is a bad move and a sad way for Odom’s time as a Laker to conclude.