As we reported Saturday, by pulling off a sign and trade deal to send center Tyson Chandler to the New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks General Manager Donnie Nelson got his club some much-needed flexibility under the club’s salary cap. That move paid off big time on Saturday night as the “Los Angeles Times” has reported that the Los Angeles Lakers sent power forward and last season’s NBA Sixth Man Of The Year Lamar Odom to Dallas in exchange for a first round draft pick in next June’s NBA Draft. That deal also takes the Lakers out of the running to acquire New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul; after the Hornets had re-submitted their team request to deal Paul in a three-way trade with Los Angeles and the Houston Rockets that was turned down by the NBA front office earlier this week.
According to the report Odom had become quite upset with the Lakers after the trade fell through and had sat out the first two practices since training camp started on Friday. Odom told reporters “To me, I would think it’s better to stay away. You know, the energy and all. I don’t know how it’s going to go right now. It’s a little weird. I don’t know if (a deal is) going to happen overnight or it’s going to be a drawn-out process. Right now, I’ll be a fan of the game from the distance.”
Odom was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers in 1999 in the first round of the draft and played his first four seasons with the team. After playing one season for the Miami Heat he came over to the Lakers in 2004 in the deal that sent Shaquille O’Neal to South Beach. He has played 12 seasons in the Association and has averaged 14.6 points, 8.9 boards and 1.0 blocks per game over his career.