Well, it was a couple weeks ago when a commenter (hat tip to citizen DonaldSterlingSucks) reported that his friend had seen Vinny Del Negro having dinner with Lamar Odom in LA. There were a few sketchy reports after that but nothing real until ESPN reported today that the Clippers were interested in Odom.
The potential deal would send Odom to the Clippers, and former All-Star guard Mo Williams to a third team that could absorb his contract so Dallas would not have to take any salary back. It sounds, to me at least, that if a third team comes forth that wants to take Mo for 8.5 million this season, then this deal is done.
The concern that people seem to have with Odom is, well, understandable. It's the fact that, to be frank, he sucked last season. A lot. He had career lows in points, assists, rebounds, blocks, steals, FG%, and FT%. But you know what I see when I look at that? He just got traded far away unexpectedly, played less minutes than he had his whole career, and it was a crazy lockout season. And he sucked. But it was one season. It was an outlier.
I honestly expect him to return to form this season. He can easily get 30 minutes a night on the Clippers, replacing Gomes, Simmons, and Martin (assuming that Reggie is resigned and KMart walks) in the rotation at SF and PF. He's a good passer and he is versatile.
The deal also sends away Mo Williams, who, let's be honest, should not be a Clipper next season. He wants to play PG and he wants to start at PG. He can't start over CP3, and he shouldn't be stealing minutes from Bledsoe and Chauncey. He was almost the next big thing alongside Gordon and Griffin, the veteran, seasoned PG to play with the young athletes. But that team is long gone. He was brought here to do a job and Chris Paul does it better. Time to let Mo do that job somewhere else.
So, what's not to like about the Odom deal?
Let's say I'm wrong about Odom. He still sucks. He's terrible and he lost all of his talent when he married that Kardassian. Then guess what? He's an 8 million dollar expiring contract. The Clippers can use him to absorb some salary, or even just bench/release him because he only has one season remaining. You aren't losing a lot.
Mo won't be around to start next season, and if he is, he won't be happy. The Clips are better off without him, and Odom stands a good chance to contribute.
I'm acting under two assumptions rights now:
- Lamar is coming back. Get used to it
- Lamar is going to be a 14/8/3 guy off the bench. Not a 7/4/4 guy.