Lamar Odom traded to the Mavs

Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzski, right, goes up to block a shot off Los Angeles Lakers’ Lamar Odom in the second half of Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals on May 4, 2011. The Mavericks defeated the Lakers 93-81and lead the best-of-seven playoff series 2-0. UPI/Christine Cotter

The Dallas Mavericks acquired Lamar Odom from the Los Angeles Lakers, which will have ripple effects throughout the NBA as teams try to finalize rosters in this chaotic period following the NBA lockout. Above you see a photo of Odom battling Dirk Nowitzski last year in the NBA playoffs. Instead of working to get revenge for the Lakers, Odom will now be a crucial part of the Dallas effort to return to the NBA finals.

This trade signals the end of the bizarre saga surrounding the Chris Paul trade that was rejected by David Stern. That controversial decision has rocked the NBA, and now we’ll be hearing about it over and over again as New Orleans tries to unload Paul to another team. The Lakers decided to back out of the talks rather than submit a new trade from Chris Paul to the league, and in dealing Odom put an abrupt end to that scenario. Meanwhile, the Lakers now seem to be focusing their attention on acquiring Dwight Howard in a deal that would involve Andrew Bynum.

As for the Mavericks, this trade for Odom became possible when they decided to work a deal with the New York Knicks when it became clear they would be losing center Tyson Chandler to the Knicks. That gave the Mavs an $11 million trade exception which they then used to acquire Odom. Odom made it clear he didn’t want to leave LA, but the powers that be clearly decided to go in another direction.

Dallas has more moves to make as it reworks in roster in the wake of losing Chandler. Chandler was a very important piece of their championship puzzle, but he’s the kind of player that can be replaced. Dallas is now one of the teams that might get a shot at landing Dwight Howard as the Orlando Magic have permitted them along with the Lakers and the New Jersey Nets. There’s also buzz out there that Vince Carter will land in Dallas as well. Carter can still score, but he’s not the kind of player one thinks of to help a championship team. Maybe he’ll be better in a reduced role.

The Dwight Howard sweepstakes will be the next big story that will have ripple effects around the league. We’ll see how serious Dallas is in that contest.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

The Chris Paul fiasco gives NBA a black eye

The proposed Chris Paul trade to the Los Angeles Lakers has created a firestorm.

The Hornets, who are owned by the league which acquired it from George Shinn a year ago, realized it was unlikely they would be able to retain Paul with a contract extension or in free agency after he opted out of his contract after this season.

So New Orleans general manager Dell Demps, a respected player personnel man who came from the respected San Antonio Spurs, went to work, hoping to get something for Paul instead of nothing if he left in free agency. Or in Stern’s words, “Getting something more for that player in the event he will leave than if he stays.”

Demps, in his second year as GM of the Hornets, arranged a huge three-team trade with the Lakers and the Houston Rockets: Paul to the Lakers; Los Angeles forward Lamar Odom to the Hornets and Los Angeles forward Pau Gasol to the Rockets, who would have sent forward Luis Scola, guards Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic and a first-round draft pick to New Orleans.

Stern got serious pressure from a number of owners, including Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who fired off a letter to Stern and other owners calling the trade a travesty.

This trade should go to a vote of the 29 owners of the Hornets.

Over the next three seasons this deal would save the Lakers approximately $20 million in salaries and approximately $21 million in luxury taxes. That $21 million goes to non-taxpaying teams and to fund revenue sharing.

I cannot remember ever seeing a trade where a team got by far the best player in the trade and saved over $40 million in the process. And it doesn’t appear that they would give up any draft picks, which might allow to later make a trade for Dwight Howard.

The teams are still talking in an attempt to salvage the deal and they have appealed Stern’s decision.

Meanwhile, Stern and the NBA are being savaged by commentators everywhere. Here’s Bill Simmons and Micheal Wilbon.

Who will win the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award?

Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry reacts after hitting a three point shot against the Philadelphia 76ers during second half NBA basketball action in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 1, 2011. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

It’s award season in the NBA and today I’ll take a look at the top Sixth Man of the Year candidates. Not only will I try to predict who will win the award, I’ll also discuss who should win win the award. Those are two separate questions and they may have two separate answers.

First, to narrow down the candidates, I took a look at the winners from the past 10 seasons:

2001Aaron McKiePHI763343%31.511.
2002Corliss WilliamsonDET7879%21.813.
2003Bobby JacksonSAC592644%28.415.
2004Antawn JamisonDAL8222%
2005Ben GordonCHI8234%24.415.
2006Mike MillerMEM74912%30.613.75.42.721.849
2007Leandro BarbosaPHO801823%32.718.
2008Manu GinobiliSAS742331%
2009Jason TerryDAL741115%33.719.62.43.425.450
2010Jamal CrawfordATL7900%

Notice that all 10 winners had the following in common:

— They started fewer than 45% of their teams games.
— They averaged at least 11.6 points per game.
— They averaged at least 18.9 total points, rebounds and assists.
— They were all on teams that won at least 47 games. Eight of 10 winners were on teams that won 50+ games.

Using this criteria to narrow down the legitimate candidates for the 2011 Sixth Man award, we’re left with this list of 11 candidates. To give us a little leeway, they all started less than half of their teams games, they averaged at least 17.3 total points, rebounds and assists, and they play on teams that have at least 38 wins on the season.

I also included Efficiency Per Minute to see how productive each player is in the minutes he gets. Bigs tend to do better in this statistic because it’s easier to post rebounds than it is to register assists and big men tend to shoot at a higher percentage because they play close to the basket (so they have fewer misses, which weight efficiency down).

Read the rest of this entry »

Lamar Odom hits a circus shot [video]

The Finals, Game 7: With a little help from his friends…

Kobe Bryant played a miserable offensive game, going just 6-of-24 from the field, 0-for-6 from long range and turning the ball over four times. But the rest of the Lakers stepped up. Whether it was Pau Gasol’s travel layup with 1:30 to play, Ron Artest’s timely three-pointer with 1:00 remaining or Sasha Vujacic’s clutch free throws to seal the game with 0:11 to play, Kobe’s supporting cast came through when they needed to.

Lakers win, 83-79.

Kobe finished with 23-15-2, which looks pretty good until you realize that he missed 18 shots and forced some terrible attempts. Gasol added a gritty 19-18, and had nine of the Lakers’ TWENTY-THREE offensive rebounds. (The L.A. absolutely pounded the C’s on the glass, which was one area where Boston desperately missed Kendrick Perkins.) Artest had 20-5 and five steals. He wasn’t terribly efficient offensively, but he hit some important shots and bothered Paul Pierce into 5-of-15 shooting. Artest no longer has to live with the specter of Trevor Ariza circling his entire existence in Los Angeles. In his own weird way, he has truly become a Laker.

For the Celtics, Kevin Garnet (17-3, four blocks) played well offensively (8-of-13), but he just didn’t get it done on the defensive glass. Rajon Rondo (14-8-10) had a very nice game, but wasn’t able to push the ball enough to take it over. Paul Pierce (18-10-2) and Ray Allen (13-2-2) combined to go a dreadful 8-of-29 from the field.

It wasn’t a cleanly played Game 7, but it was tight the whole way and it was one of the best defensive Finals games I’ve ever seen. To put this in perspective, the Lakers shot 32.5% from the field and still won the game…and the title.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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