After a resubmitted deal for Chris Paul fell through on Saturday night, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to trade forward Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks in what amounts to be largely a salary dump.
Odom, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, was originally included in a three-team deal that would have sent him to the New Orleans Hornets; Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets; and Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.
NBA commissioner David Stern nixed the deal on Thursday and the Lakers decided it wasn't worth adding more draft picks and/or players to the deal to acquire Paul.
But after initial trade rumors seemed to really upset Odom - he speculated his reality television show with Khloe Kardashian could have been one of the reasons - the Lakers decided to trade Odom to the defending NBA Finals champions for a 2012 first-round draft pick and trade exception.
Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, who has been a close friend of Odom's for a long time, was extremely upset about the trade.
I don't like it, Bryant said Sunday. I've known Lamar for a long time, and for the team itself, he's meant a lot in terms of his versatility, his personality. He's a big presence for us in the locker room, just from a team chemistry standpoint. He's great at bringing guys together and things of that nature.
I trust management knows what they're doing. I let them do their jobs, I never get in the way but it's tough. You're talking about sixth man of the year last year. He played lights out.
The Lakers' decision to send Odom to the Mavericks is what truly puzzles Bryant. The Mavericks swept the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals last year, yet now the Lakers are sending one of their most valuable players for nothing of immediate value in return.
Especially to them, Bryant said. We were supposed to come back and get them back, know what I mean?
I don't think Mark Cuban is protesting this trade.
The Lakers are expected to pursue Orlando Magic forward/center Dwight Howard in a trade, but Yahoo Sports reported Hoard has told Magic management he prefers to be traded to the New Jersey Nets.