Lamar Odom’s heart was never in it this season with the Dallas Mavericks, and some questioned whether Odom ever really left LA in his head this year.
Well, we’re about to find out, but it won’t be in gold and purple.
The Los Angeles Clippers have completed a four team trade that sends Odom back to the team that initially drafted him.
The Clippers sent point guard Mo Williams to the Utah Jazz, which also happens to be the team that drafted him. The Jazz will use the trade exception created in the Mehmet Okur deal with New Jersey this past season to take Williams’ contract.
The Mavericks also will create their own trade exception worth $8.9 million by shedding Odom’s contract without taking any salary back.
The Mavericks also received the rights to Tadija Dragicevic and cash from the Houston Rockets; the Clippers also sent their second round pick Furkan Aldemir to the Rockets.
When Lamar Odom left the Clippers in 2003 it was because The Heat made an offer sheet of six years and $65 million when Odom was a restricted free agent and the then-23-year-old promptly switched coasts.
In his last year with the Clippers Odom’s mood grew morose, and his shot selection was confounding. He was lazy on defense and often appeared lost when the ball went into Brand on the left block. Injuries played a factor, but Odom’s disengagement was the main reason the Clippers did not match his offer sheet. Elgin Baylor said the team did not match the offer “based on issues of character and other risks involved.” On Odom’s way out the door, he also referred to his time with the Clippers as “basketball hell.”
My, my… how times change.
Since that time, Odom is a former sixth man of the year and two time NBA champion; that is a sure fire way to change a team’s attitude about you.
Odom will join a team, anchored by Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, that’s instilled a solid culture under Vinny Del Negro. His multiple skills will enable him to be the first big man off the bench, and help keep the ball moving in the second unit.
Hopefully, Odom can keep the ball moving, otherwise he might just be keeping up with the Kardashians.