As an immediate result of the failed Chris Paul trade before the beginning of this shortened NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers were basically forced to trade reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Lamar Odom. With a short window to make a deal, the Lakers quickly pulled the trigger to send the versatile forward to the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks in exchange for a first-round draft pick and a trade exception worth $8.9 million.
This trade sent shock waves through the NBA and Los Angeles as many believed the Mavs got a steal. Acquiring Odom for virtually nothing was considered to be one of the best deals in franchise history for the Mavs as it would only make this championship team’s squad that much more talented in their title defense.
Unfortunately, the trade turned about to be a bit of genius by Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and a step back for the defending champs. Lamar Odom was unable to get back to form as one of the best forwards in the game. Despite playing the same role off the bench like he did with the Lakers, Odom was never comfortable in Dallas, and as a result his game suffered greatly.
As a result of Odom’s poor play and his heart just not being there, the Dallas Mavericks and the veteran forward have agreed to part ways for the rest of the season via Mark Stein of ESPN.com:
“The Mavericks and I have mutually agreed that it’s in the best interest of both parties for me to step away from the team,” Odom said in a statement to ESPN.com.
“I’m sorry that things didn’t work out better for both of us, but I wish the Mavs’ organization, my teammates and Dallas fans nothing but continued success in the defense of their championship.”
Even though the Dallas Mavericks haven’t officially released Lamar Odom just yet, it’s a forgone conclusion that the Sixth Man of the Year’s short stint in Texas is over. Since the Mavs didn’t release him, Dallas can still trade him in the off-season as reported by Mark Stein:
“Any team that has Odom on its roster as of June 29 must buy him out by that date for $2.4 million or otherwise accept responsibility for the full $8.2 million that Odom is scheduled to earn in 2012-13.”
Needless to say, the options are open for the Dallas Mavericks in terms of dealing with Lamar Odom from here on out. A return to the Los Angeles Lakers isn’t out of the realm of possibility here, as it has been rumored that Kobe Bryant has been trying to bring back Odom and Derek Fisher next season.