There are trades that are bad and then there are trades that make one wonder exactly what a GM was thinking. When the Los Angeles Lakers traded Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for a trade exception and a first round pick, it was one of the worst trades ever made by the franchise. This trade was awful in so many levels that it was like getting a big lump of coal in your stocking if you are a Laker fan.
Thefirst reason that this trade is absurd is that they traded the Sixth man of the Year winner to another contender in THEIROWN conference. This means the Mavericks that may very well see LA in a playoff series got stronger while the Lakers got weaker. The Mavericks gained a
big man that can move up and down the court fluidly, score off the drive, has a decent shot, rebound well, and play defense. He is not Tyson Chandler, but he will give Dallas plenty off their bench.
The Lakers right now have nothingto show for dealing their big man. They get a first round pick that will likely be a very late pick because Dallas is a top team every year in the West. If you think that trade exception helps at all, think again. Dwight Howard is not going to LA via trade. No chance even with Brooks Lopez hurt in New Jersey because if the Magic wanted Bynum or Gasol, they would have taken that deal by
now. Bottom line is Kobe is right, the Lakers got weaker by trading Odom.
They could have dealt him anywhere. Just because he wanted to go to a contender does not mean that you had to trade him to one. He wanted a trade because he could not handle the business side of the game does not give him the right to choose his destination. Never trade a guy to a rival for nothing. Heck, even if you felt like taking care of him, how about dealing him to the East where at least he could not hurt you until the Finals.
The next reason this trade was so bad is Odom was so well loved in that locker room. He was a very important part of the team’s chemistry. Odom was the calming influence on everyone from Kobe to Gasol. He was the guy that lightened the mood during off time, but was all business on the court. Lamar being gone has left a huge hole in that locker room that Kobe has made evident. An angry Kobe is never good for team moral. Just remember how bad that team struggled with a pissed off Kobe during the 2004 to 2007 era of Lakers history. Granted he did not have much help then, but it is moves like this that give him no help.
The bottom line is this was a terrible move by LA. Even if the triangle offense was gone, Odom has enough skills to provide something to the team. Giving him to a rival contender for peanuts makes this move worse. If Dallas celebrates in June again and the Lakers fold again this will be the move that set those wheels in motion. The Lakers gave their fans a big lump of coal on this one.