Lamar Odom is finally heading back to Los Angeles after a lost year in Dallas, as the Mavericks, Clippers, Jazz and Rockets finalized a four-team deal that makes Odom a Clipper and Mo Williams a part of a crowded backcourt in Utah. There's plenty of reaction to the trade, including its effect on the Mavs and their pursuit of major free agents. As Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld notes, the Mavs can only use the $8.9MM trade exception they got in the deal if they don't want to renounce the rights to some of their own free agents and go under the salary cap, which they'd have to do to sign Deron Williams or another big-time target from a different team. If the Mavs don't land a major free agent, they can go over the cap to sign their own guys and use the trade exception to swing a deal for another player who can help. Here's the rest of what NBA writers are saying about the trade:
- Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com likes the move for the Mavs and wonders why the Clippers didn't wait for the Mavs to waive Odom, allowing L.A. to sign him to a cheaper deal. He also believes the deal may be a precursor to the Jazz trading Devin Harris.
- David Aldridge of TNT says Williams met with Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor before opting into his contract, which was the final obstacle to the deal, and expressed a desire to be a starting point guard. The Jazz wouldn't make the promise, but Williams took the plunge anyway. (Twitter links).
- Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune details the Jazz's plans to use Harris and Williams together in the backcourt, justifying the team's decision to keep Jamaal Tinsley (All four Twitter links).
- If Williams ultimately supplants Harris as the Jazz's starter at the point, it will be an upgrade, says Kurt Kragthorpe of The Salt Lake Tribune.
- John Hollinger of ESPN.com believes the biggest winner is the Jazz, but the trade will be a "home run" for Dallas if it leads to the Mavs signing Deron Williams (Insider link).
- Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com shares insight from Williams' agent, Mark Bartelstein, about the point guard's thought process as he decided whether to opt in. "There was no blocking going on," he said. "When you make a decision like this, you want to study it very closely. But the more we looked at it, the more excited we were about going back to Utah. Mo's very happy to be going back there."