According to a report by LATimes.com, the Los Angeles Lakers have traded forward Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for a 2012 first-round pick.
Odom has been a fan favorite in Los Angeles since he was traded to the Lakers as part of the Shaquille O’Neal swap, and he has been a solid contributor with the team ever since, becoming a key figure of the bench during his seven season tenure, punctuated by two championships in 2009 and 2010, and winning the NBA Sixth Man Of The Year Award the following year.
In return, the Lakers acquired a 2012 first round selection from a defending NBA champion Mavericks team, although they could have received a lot more for Odom, considering his accolades and consistency throughout his career. The upcoming 2012 Draft is expected to be very deep, although Dallas is expected to ultimately earn a late first round selection, meaning that this trade could wind up costing the Lakers when all is set and done. Despite some high-profile movement coming from the Mavericks’ brass in recent days, including trading Tyson Chandler to the New York Knicks as part of a sign-and-trade deal, I believe that they will be a solid team this year and once again contend for a championship.
Over the past few days the Lakers have been aggresively pursuing New Orleans superstar point guard Chris Paul. The team almost secured the displeased Paul, completing a tentative deal with the NBA-owned Hornets before NBA Commishioner David Stern controversially killed the trade after NBA owners complained to him about the would-be blockbuster swap.
Now it seems that the Lakers have pulled themselves out of the Paul sweepstakes, and are now in hot pursuit of Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. Recently, Howard formally requested a trade out of Orlando, opening the door for a possibly imminent deal.
Despite the ending of the Chris Paul effort, the saga in Los Angeles continues as general manager Mitch Kupchak is still trying to acquire a superstar. This is definitely a story to closely follow in the days leading up to the lockout-shortened NBA season, which will begin on Christmas Day, December 25.