Lamar Odom traded to the Dallas Mavericks
The Lakers don't have to fret anymore whether Lamar Odom will report to training camp.
No, the Lakers didn't acquire New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul. In fact, they actually pulled out of the three-team trade proposal involving New Orleans and Houston. Instead, Odom will be traded to the Dallas Mavericks for their first-round pick in the 2012 NBA draft. The Times' Mike Bresnahan reported it's unclear whether the Lakers made that move simply to dump Odom's $17 million salary or use the added funds somehow to acquire Paul or Dwight Howard.
It's a horrendous move if it's just a salary dump. He won the sixth-man-of-the-year award last season after averaging 14.4 points and 8.7 rebounds, remained a locker room fixture and provided the Lakers with front court depth. Plus, the Lakers give the defending champion Mavericks added depth after losing Tyson Chandler to the Knicks.PHOTOS: Lamar Odom through the years
But it's more likely a move represents something bigger ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Lakers pulled out of the Paul deal so they can load up on Howard. It remains unclear how feasible that will be. The Lakers' $8.9 million trade exception can't be offered to absorb Hedo Turkoglu's contract worth over $11 million. But it could possibly be used to acquire a player they could present as part of their offer for Howard.
For now, Laker fans don't have to worry if Odom missing training camp again. But no one outside of Kobe Bryant can fully breathe a sigh of relief on whether they'll remain on the Lakers' roster. Likewise, Laker fans shouldn't fully feel comfortable what direction the front office is taking this franchise.
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Photo: Lamar Odom was disturbed that he was part of the voided Chris Paul trade and did not practice the first two days of Lakers training camp. He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)