There was a reason why the LA Lakers dealt Lamar Odom to a Western Conference team that not only swept them in the playoffs but won the NBA title for almost nothing. This little post I put up at the time of the deal is looking increasingly more accurate - the deal smelled from the start.
There is no way around the fact that the no-risk gamble of acquiring Odom from the Lakers has yielded more of a headache than a contributor. Pick your reason, Lamar Odom is a distraction.
Odom's averages of 7.7 points and 4.5 rebounds are the lowest of his career.
He hasn't been with the team for the past couple of games, leading to speculation that he wants to return to L.A. to play for the Clippers. According to the Star-Telegram's Dwain Price, Lamar Odom is not going to be offered a buyout by Mark Cuban.
With the season half over, there is no point in buying out or waiving Odom now when the Mavs are very close to realizing his real value: An expiring contract.
But throughout his career Lamar Odom, despite his pleasant and easy-going personality, has often been one of those "it's always something with that guy" type of players. Whether it was during his high school career, college "career" at Rhode Island, or now in the NBA there is often something else going on with Lamar.
The rap on him coming out of high school was that he was too timid, and just leaned on his natural ability and never appeared to "want it". In college, he started at UNLV but had to leave after it was learned he accepted some cash from a booster. He had to sit out a year before playing at Rhode Island for coach Jim Harrick, who knows a thing or two about the good folks at the NCAA.
As a rookie with the Clippers, Odom was suspended for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy. He was dealt to the Heat, and it wasn't until he was moved to the Lakers did things settle down. He has been in the league for more than a decade, won multiple rings, been named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year, and made buckets of cash so it's not as if he is a stiff.
Then he married Khloe Kardashian, and joined the reality TV world where not necessarily the strongest survive but the most melo-dramatic. Now he's just a guy on the defending NBA champs, appears to want to go home, and his greatest asset is not his game but his contract.
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