Lamar Odom

And-Ones: Howard, Summer League, Spain, BIG3

Having been sent from Washington to Memphis in a trade for C.J. Miles, veteran center Dwight Howard is a member of the Grizzlies for now. However, the club is expected to waive or trade him at some point. After he was limited to just nine games in 2018/19 for health reasons, it’s not clear what the next step will be for Howard, but the eight-time All-Star tells Shams Charania of The Athletic that he has adjusted his mindset and is prepared to do whatever it takes to help his next team win.

“I don’t have an ego — it’s dead,” Howard said. “It had to die for me to be who I am. Sometimes when you want to become who you want to be, you have to die within yourself. Once you learn that you have to give up yourself for the team, that’s when things flourish.”

According to Charania, several NBA teams have said that they’re intrigued by Howard, who says he has been fully cleared after last year’s injury issues. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year claims he has lost 25 pounds since the end of the season, and one executive who saw him recently said he appears to be in his best shape in years, per Charania.

It remains to be seen whether Howard will get an opportunity to choose his next team on the free agent market, but if he does, he has one clear priority, he tells Charania: “Winning. Winning. Winning. I want to win. Nothing else. Just win.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • According to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link), there has been talk in Las Vegas about the possibility of moving back the start of Summer League in future years. Postponing the start date until after the end of the July moratorium would help address the problem of having traded 2019 draftees tied up in deals that can’t be made official until after Summer League is underway.
  • Spain announced its preliminary roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup this week, as Sportando relays, and the group includes a number of familiar names. The 16-man list, which will be cut down to 12 for the competition, features Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Willy Hernangomez, Juan Hernangomez, and former NBA players like Rudy Fernandez and Victor Claver.
  • The BIG3 announced on Wednesday that Baron Davis, Bonzi Wells, Lamar Odom, and Jermaine O’Neal are being “deactivated” for the 2019 season. The league cited the need to “maximize competition, protect the health of players, and to raise the level of the professionalism of the BIG3.”

Lamar Odom, More Former NBA Players Join BIG3

Longtime NBA forward Lamar Odom, who spent 14 seasons with the Clippers, Lakers, Heat, and Mavericks, has become the latest addition to the BIG3 player pool, the league announced on Thursday (via Twitter).

Odom hasn’t played in the NBA since 2012/13, when he wrapped up his career with the Clippers. He signed with a team in Spain in 2014, but lasted just two games before returning home with a back injury. The former NBA champion has battled addiction issues and survived a drug overdose several years ago, but is healthy now and indicated back in the fall that he intended to join Ice Cube’s three-on-three league.

Odom is one of a handful of former NBA players who have joined the BIG3 within the last week, as the league has slowly been revealing the new additions to its player pool for the upcoming 2019 season. Besides Odom, the following players are poised to play in the BIG3 for the first time this year:

White is a former first-round pick while the other four veterans all played in the NBA for at least seven seasons. Watson suited up for an NBA squad most recently, appearing in 62 games for Orlando in 2016/17.

As we previously relayed, the BIG3 is adding four new teams for the 2019 season and expanding its schedule. In 2018, a team featuring longtime NBA players Corey Maggette, Glen Davis, Cuttino Mobley, and Quentin Richardson – and coached by Hall-of-Famer Nancy Lieberman – won the league’s title.

Lamar Odom Plans To Join BIG3

Lamar Odom hasn’t given up on his basketball career, even at age 38 and after a catastrophic health emergency in 2015, tweets Ryan Ward of Clutch Points. Odom told Ward that he plans to play in the BIG3 League next summer and would like to get an opportunity in China (hat tip to Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype).

“I’m getting myself into game shape, which I’m not too far from it now,” Odom said. “I’ll be playing. Hopefully, I’ll be playing. I also plan to play in the CBA in China in 2019 … I just want to compete again. NBA2K is not enough.”

Odom spent 14 seasons in the NBA, but hasn’t been in the league since 2012/13, when he wrapped up his career with the Clippers. He signed with a team in Spain in 2014, but lasted just two games before returning home with a back injury.

Odom suffered a severe health scare following a drug overdose three years ago. He claims he had 12 strokes and six heart attacks and was hospitalized for about three months.

Several of Odom’s former teammates have prominent roles in the BIG3, Kalbrosky notes, including Corey MaggetteQuentin Richardson and Kwame Brown.

Lamar Odom To Play In China?

Longtime NBA forward Lamar Odom announced today on Instagram that he’ll be returning to court this season. According to Odom, he’ll play for a team in China.

Odom’s announcement is short on specific details, so it remains to be seen which team he’ll play for, or even which league he’ll be in — the top clubs in China complete in the Chinese Basketball Association, while the National Basketball League is the country’s second-tier league.

Regardless, it would be great to see Odom continue his professional career in any league and with any team after he battled off-court issues – including entering rehab for substance abuse – for several years following his last stint in the NBA.

Odom, 38, entered the NBA in 1999 and spent time with the Clippers, Heat, Lakers, and Mavericks over the course of 14 seasons. He won two NBA championships with the Lakers and was named the league’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2011, but hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since 2013.

Speaking last summer to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, Odom gave no indication that he would attempt an NBA comeback, but didn’t close the door on playing in another league, such as the BIG3. It sounds like he’ll get that opportunity in China this season.

Lamar Odom Talks Lakers, Retirement, BIG3

Longtime NBA forward Lamar Odom hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2012/13 season, having battled off-court issues – including drug use – since then. However, the 14-year veteran believes he’d have a chance to still be playing in the NBA today if not for the trade that sent him from the Lakers to the Mavericks during the 2011 offseason. As he tells Shams Charania of The Vertical, Odom feels that he was never really himself after that trade.

“Being in L.A., the structure, the people I knew, it hurt leaving. I had great memories with the Lakers, with Kobe [Bryant] and Pau [Gasol]. That was a special time in my life,” Odom said. “I think about it all the time, about how much I had left in the tank. I had issues going on. But barring injury, could I play in the NBA today? I could play. I should still be playing.”

At age 37, Odom doesn’t intend to attempt an NBA comeback, and in fact has been in talks with the Lakers about signing a one-day contract during training camp to retire as a member of the organization, according to Charania.

Charania’s whole piece is worth checking out, but here are a few more highlights from Odom, who talked about the possibility of retiring as a Laker, his plans for the future, and a number of other topics:

On potentially retiring as a Laker:

“My family looks forward to me retiring as a Laker more than me. I’m not really emotional about being praised, about signing for a day. I’m shy at the end of the day. For my son, for my family, for my fans, they may enjoy that day. It’s for them. I ain’t celebrating not playing no more. In life though, I’ve learned to live with regrets.”

On his disappointing 2011/12 campaign with the Mavericks:

“That was a hard year for me because my cousin had just got killed. It was the lockout year, so I didn’t work out any, none, before that season. I spoke to Mark Cuban, and I told him the situation I was in emotionally, that this is what you’re getting, the player you’re getting. There were hard feelings over the course of the season. I thought I would return to my old form. … It’s too bad that it didn’t work out there because I really could have flourished with Dirk Nowitzki. I could have taken advantage of his skills and my skills. It’s too bad that I wasn’t at the top of my game mentally or physically. I couldn’t perform.”

On spending time with Luke Walton and the Lakers earlier this year, and potentially re-joining the franchise as a player development coach:

“I’ve thought about coaching with the Lakers, but I don’t know if I’m ready to commit myself. It was cool being back around that environment, watching Lonzo [Ball] work out. You could tell he will be special. It’s always good to be back around the Lakers’ facility. There’s nothing but good memories, besides that trade.

On the possibility of joining Ice Cube’s BIG3 league in 2018:

“I might play in the BIG3 next year. It would give me something to do. That league is going to last. It’s not going anywhere, and more dudes will get down with it. Getting $100,000 for playing, and three-on-three is nothing to these guys. They can play still. … I think the BIG3 could become international. It could tour. Basketball is an international game, and the four-point shot is entertainment. The reason it’s going to last is Cube – and celebrities come out for it.”

Lakers Rumors: Young Core, Millsap, Noel, Odom

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak indicated last month that he’d be perfectly happy not to make a trade this season, since he’s pleased with the young talent on his roster. So far, the Lakers’ discussions with teams have reflected that stance. League sources tell Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that Los Angeles hasn’t included Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, or D’Angelo Russell in any trade talks, and that isn’t expected to change in the coming weeks. According to Deveney, young role players like Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson are also unlikely to be moved.

While the Lakers aren’t eager to break up their young core, there are indications that the team is still exploring possible trade options. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Lakers were among the clubs to express interest in Paul Millsap before Atlanta pulled him off the market. L.A. would also have interest in Nerlens Noel if and when the Sixers get serious about moving him, Deveney writes. For now though, the club appears content to exercise some patience and move forward with its current roster.

Here’s more from out of L.A.:

  • One Western Conference scout who spoke to Deveney had high praise for the Lakers’ young trio of Ingram, Randle, and Russell. “If you made a list of the 20 best players who are 22 or under, I think you’d have to have all three of the Lakers’ young guys on there,” the scout said. “They’re three of the best young guys in the league. There’s really not a lot of teams can say that, and I think a lot of mediocre teams would like to swap rosters with the Lakers right now.”
  • Asked by TMZ about whether he had any interest in returning to the NBA as a coach, former Lakers forward Lamar Odom admitted that he has thought about it, acknowledging that he even contact head coach Luke Walton to convey his interest.
  • The idea of Odom joining the Lakers’ staff under Walton probably isn’t a realistic one at this point, according to Mark Medina of The Orange County Register, who notes that the team is mindful of Odom’s continuous recovery. Nonetheless, Walton isn’t shutting that door. “Lamar would be great,” the Lakers’ head coach said of his former teammate. “Anyone who knows Lamar, when he’s right, he is one of the most likeable people they’ve been around. He has a great knowledge of the game and has a great way of communicating with people.”

Lakers Notes: Russell, Young, Nance

Nick Young has accepted D’Angelo Russell‘s apology over the controversial video that had seem to drive a wedge between Russell and his teammates, a source told Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). Lakers players reportedly shunned Russell following the public release of a video he secretly recorded that depicted Young talking about women other than his fiancee. Russell apologized to the team before Wednesday’s win over Miami, Jordan Clarkson said, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (on Twitter), and the rookie expressed profound contrition in an interview with The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“The thing is, we record ourselves doing dumb stuff all the time,” Russell said. “On the road or home, wherever. We go back and watch what we did and said and laugh at ourselves. I guess I just never thought that these pranks we pull on ourselves could have bigger consequences. That was a big lesson I learned. I’ve said to myself over and over: What could anyone possibly gain by intentionally doing something that could hurt someone else’s relationship? I never wanted to hurt anyone. I’m sorry for it.”

The flap that temporarily cast the future of last year’s No. 2 overall pick in doubt seemed to dissipate amid the team’s victory and the appearance of Lamar Odom, who attended his first NBA game after a health scare that threatened his life in October. Kobe Bryant said after the game that Odom’s recovery stands as an example for Russell of how a dire situation can improve over time, notes Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). See more on the Lakers:

  • A prominent agent who spoke with Sean Deveney of The Sporting News laughed off the notion that players around the league would be reluctant to play with the Lakers if Russell is still on the team, and Deveney suggests the long-term implications of the video incident are overblown. Given Young’s poor production this season, his status on the team is more tenuous than Russell’s, Deveney insists.
  • The agent pointed to the Lakers’ money and geographic location as reasons why they’re a draw for players, but the results of this past offseason, when LaMarcus Aldridge and others spurned the team, say otherwise, contends Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post, who believes the team’s issues go far beyond the video.
  • Larry Nance Jr. had never played small forward before this season, but the Lakers have him at the three now and will keep him at the position for summer-league play with an eye toward using him as a long-term complement to power forward Julius Randle, as Medina details.

Knicks, Lamar Odom Engaged In Recent Talks?

2:41pm: The Knicks never brought up the idea of signing Odom and made no offer, team sources tell TMZ Sports.

8:51am: Lamar Odom‘s camp and the Knicks had recent discussions about a comeback for former Lakers sixth man, his personal trainer Fareed Samad told TMZ Sports, adding that he was optimistic about Odom’s chances with New York. Odom was hospitalized Tuesday night after having been found unresponsive in a legal Nevada brothel. He’s in a coma and his heart is failing, according to a separate TMZ Sports report.

The Knicks signed Odom on the last day of the season in 2013/14 and released him before he ever saw action with the team. Phil Jackson, who coached Odom on the Lakers and had taken over as Knicks team president shortly before the Odom signing, brought him aboard in one of his first moves, but Odom never showed up to work out with the team while under contract that summer, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post (Twitter link).

Odom, who turns 36 next month, last appeared in an NBA game in the 2013 playoffs with the Clippers. Still, he’d lost 35 pounds off his 6’10” frame since the beginning of June this year in preparation for an NBA comeback attempt, Samad said to TMZ Sports.

The Knicks went to camp with 19 players on the roster, one beneath the preseason roster limit. Sasha Vujacic, a former Lakers teammate of Odom and another Jackson protege, is one of 13 with fully guaranteed deals even though he has played just two games in the NBA since 2010/11, demonstrating Jackson’s fondness for his purple-and-gold connections.

Still, Odom’s pressing health condition would appear to overshadow the notion of a return to the Knicks or any NBA team. The Jeff Schwartz client gained friends around the league amid a life marred by tragedy, as Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports details.

Western Notes: Odom, Lillard, Randolph, Davis

Damian Lillard downplayed any rumored issues between him and LaMarcus Aldridge, and denied that their relationship was part of the reason Aldridge decided to leave the Trail Blazers for the Spurs as an unrestricted free agent this summer, Paul Flannery of SB Nation writes. “Our relationship was fine,” Lillard said. “Me and LA never had an argument. People are searching for something that’s not there. When you have two All-Stars on the same team and one of them decides to leave, it’s automatically, ‘They didn’t get along.’ We had back-to-back 50-win seasons. We both made the All-Star team. We played through him and after that it was me and that was that. We played well together. We never had an issue.

Portland executive Neil Olshey noted that the franchise sought Lillard’s approval before embarking on a full-rebuild and surrounding the point guard with a younger crop of players, Flannery adds in the same piece. “This was not done without Dame’s participation,” Olshey said. “If he was at all reticent, if he said it would be great if you could get me another vet to help out, we would have gone out and found a couple of other guys to take the pressure off of him. He’s not that kind of kid. He embraces it. He thrives on it.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Former NBA player Lamar Odom was hospitalized after he was found unconscious earlier this evening at a Nevada brothel, Andrew Dalton and Sally Ho of The Associated Press report. The 35-year-old was stabilized and taken to Desert View Hospital in nearby Pahrump, a sheriff’s office statement said. There was no further word on Odom’s condition. Odom’s last NBA action came during the 2012/13 season with the Clippers.
  • Zach Randolph is prepared to do whatever it takes to help the Grizzlies win this season, including accepting a reduction in his minutes in order to preserve his energy and health, Teresa M. Walker of The Associated Press writes. “I think I’m still in my prime, and I’m going to let my game, the way I play, speak for itself,” Randolph said. “But I mean whatever I need to do to help this team, if it’s play less minutes, whatever, I’m with this team whatever we need to do.
  • Blazers power forward Ed Davis has switched representation from Relativity Sports to IT Sports Management and agent Paolo Zamorano, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets. Davis inked a three-year, $20MM deal with Portland this offseason.
  • Dwight Howard has no desire to repeat the circus that accompanied his previous forays into free agency, and he intends to keep the focus on the Rockets‘ 2015/16 campaign, and not where he may be playing next season, Fran Blinebury of writes. The big man can opt out of his current deal after the season and become an unrestricted free agent, Blinebury adds, and Howard believes that he can play for another 10 seasons. “Even though this will be my 12th season in the NBA, I still feel like I’ve got a lot left in me,” Howard said. “I believe my best 10 years are still in front of me, if we play it smart and I appreciate the coaching staff, the training staff and everybody for working toward that.

Trade Retrospective: Shaq To The Heat

With the impending blockbuster deal that will send Kevin Love to the Cavaliers less than a day away, I’ve been taking a look back at past trades involving superstar players. It’s always interesting to see how these deals have worked out over the years for all of the franchises that were involved.

So far I’ve examined the trades that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers; Deron Williams to the Nets; Kevin Garnett to the Celtics; and Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks. Next up on the agenda is a look back at the July 14, 2004 trade that saw Shaquille O’Neal head from the Lakers to the Heat.

Let’s first recap the players and assets involved:

  1. The Heat received O’Neal.
  2. The Lakers received Caron Butler; Lamar Odom; Brian Grant; and a 2006 first-rounder (Jordan Farmar).

Shaq’s last few seasons in purple-and-gold were tumultuous to say the least. His relationship with the franchise became contentious over his perception that the front office was catering to the whims of Kobe Bryant; his displeasure at being called out publicly over his lack of conditioning by the front office and coaching staff; and his contract squabbles, which Bryant slammed O’Neal over, implying that Shaq was putting himself before the good of the team.

2004 was an offseason of big changes for the Lakers franchise as a whole. Phil Jackson had stepped down as coach of the team, Bryant was a free agent, and was courted heavily by the Clippers, and the roster was in a state of flux. This was after the franchise had gone 56-26, and lost to the Pistons in the NBA Finals.

O’Neal wanted a contract extension, despite having a year left on his current deal, being scheduled to make $29.5MM in 2004/05, a raise from his 2003/04 salary of $26.57MM. O’Neal was the highest paid player in the league at the time, and for comparison, the second highest paid player was Dikembe Mutombo, who earned $19.68MM in 2004/05.

The day after the season ended, O’Neal demanded a trade. “The team wasn’t going in the right direction, and it wasn’t something I wanted to be a part of, so I asked to be traded,” O’Neal said at the time. After the trade, Shaq would end up signing a five-year, $100MM extension with the Heat in 2005. O’Neal was still the highest paid player that year, with Chris Webber coming in a close second, earning $19.12MM in 2005/06. Shaq would later be overtaken for the top spot in 2006/07 by Kevin Garnett, who was paid $21MM that season, compared to Shaq’s $20MM.

The Heat had a record of 42-40 the season prior to O’Neal’s arrival, and reached the second round of the playoffs where they lost to the Pacers in six games. They improved to 59-23 in Shaq’s first season, losing to the Pistons in the Conference Finals. In his second season, they went 52-30, capturing the franchise’s first NBA title by defeating Dallas in six games.

Lets look at O’Neal’s numbers during his time with the Heat:

  1. 2004/05: 22.9 PPG, 10.4 RPG, and 2.3 BPG. His slash line was .601/.000/.461.
  2. 2005/06: 20.0 PPG, 9.2 RPG, and 1.8 BPG. His slash line was .600/.000/.469.
  3. 2006/07: 17.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 1.4 BPG. His slash line was .591/.000/.422.
  4. 2007/08: 14.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 1.6 BPG. His slash line was .581/.000/.494.

From Miami’s perspective the trade paid off handsomely the first two seasons, as O’Neal performed rather well, despite not being the same dominant player that he was during his time in Los Angeles. But injuries and conditioning problems eventually took their toll. In 2006/07, O’Neal missed 35 games with a knee injury, and wasn’t quite the same when he returned, and the team only won 44 games, losing to the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs.

The next season saw career lows from O’Neal in virtually every statistical category, and he missed time with various injuries. His coach at the time, Pat Riley, even went as far as to accuse O’Neal of faking some of the injuries to take time off. This was one factor that contributed to his relationship with Riley fracturing, and was the main reason the team decided to trade O’Neal midway through the 2007/08 season.

In February of 2008, O’Neal was dealt to the Suns for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. Shaq would see an upswing in his performance during his first full season in Phoenix, averaging 17.8 PPG and 8.4 RPG, while appearing in 75 contests, his most since the 1999/00 campaign. This was Shaq’s last productive season in the league, and his one-year stints in Cleveland and Boston after that were unremarkable.

During Shaq’s eight seasons in Los Angeles, the franchise averaged 54 wins and captured three championships. O’Neal averaged 24.3 PPG and 11.8 RPG during this stretch. The Lakers took an immediate hit after Shaq’s departure, going 34-48 and missing the playoffs during the 2004/05 season.

Caron Butler only spent one season in purple-and-gold, averaging 15.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 1.9 APG. He would then be dealt along with Chucky Atkins to the Wizards for Kwame Brown and Laron Profit.

Brown spent three seasons with the Lakers, and his numbers were:

  1. 2005/06: 7.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 1.0 APG. His slash line was .526/.000/.545.
  2. 2006/07: 8.4 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 1.8 APG. His slash line was .591/.000/.440.
  3. 2007/08: 5.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 0.8 APG. His slash line was .515/.000/.406.

The Lakers would trade Brown, along with Javaris Crittenton; Aaron McKie; the rights to Marc Gasol, and the Lakers’ 2008 (Donte Greene) and 2010 (Greivis Vasquez) first-rounders, for Pau Gasol and the Grizzlies’ 2010 second round pick (Devin Ebanks).

Brian Grant spent one season with the Lakers, appearing in 69 games, and averaging 3.8 PPG and 3.7 RPG. He was released after the season, then signed as a free agent with the Suns, but he only appeared in 21 games during the 2005/06 campaign, averaging a career low 2.9 PPG. This was Grant’s last year in the NBA.

Jordan Farmar was selected with the No. 26 pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, and spent four seasons with the Lakers. His numbers during that stretch were:

  1. 2006/07: 4.4 PPG, 1.7 RPG, and 1.9 APG. His slash line was .422/.328/.711.
  2. 2007/08: 9.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and 2.7 APG. His slash line was .461/.371/.679.
  3. 2008/09: 6.4 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 2.4 APG. His slash line was .391/.336/.584.
  4. 2009/10: 7.2 PPG, 1.6 RPG, and 1.7 APG. His slash line was .435/.376/.671.

Farmar left after the 2009/10 season to sign a three-year, $12MM contract with the Nets. His numbers improved in New Jersey, where he averaged 10.0 PPG in his two seasons there, before being included in the deal with the Hawks that sent Joe Johnson to the Nets in 2012.

Lamar Odom was the most important and productive piece the Lakers received in the trade, and he was a valuable part of their Championship teams in 2009 and 2010. His numbers with the Lakers were:

  1. 2004/05: 15.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG, and 3.7 APG. His slash line was .473/.308/.695.
  2. 2005/06: 14.8 PPG, 9.2 RPG, and 5.5 APG. His slash line was .481/.372/.690.
  3. 2006/07: 15.9 PPG, 9.8 RPG, and 4.8 APG. His slash line was .468/.297/.700.
  4. 2007/08: 14.2 PPG, 10.6 RPG, and 3.5 APG. His slash line was .525/.274/.698.
  5. 2008/09: 11.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 2.6 APG. His slash line was .492/.320/.623.
  6. 2009/10: 10.8 PPG, 9.8 RPG, and 3.3 APG. His slash line was .463/.319/.693.
  7. 2010/11: 14.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 3.0 APG. His slash line was .530/.382/.675.

While Odom didn’t measure up to O’Neal’s production during his prime, he was certainly an effective player for the Lakers, and his versatility was a big part of Los Angeles’ success during his years with the team. It’s sometimes easy to forget just how talented a player he was in light of how far he’s fallen in the past few years, mainly due to his off the court issues and reported drug problems.

Odom’s time with the Lakers came to an end in 2011. He was originally a part of the trade with the Pelicans that would have sent Chris Paul to Los Angeles, but the league vetoed the trade. This was when the New Orleans ownership situation was in a state of flux, and the NBA was in charge of the franchise. Many team owners spoke up against the deal, but the league office said the trade was turned down for purely basketball reasons.

After the details of the proposed trade were made public, Odom stated that he felt disrespected, and demanded a trade to a contending team. One week later his wish was granted, and he was shipped to the Mavericks along with a 2012 second-rounder (Darius Johnson-Odom), which was later sold back to the Lakers, for an $8.9MM trade exception, along with a 2012 (top-20 protected) first-rounder. The first round pick was later sent to the Rockets in the deal that netted the Lakers Jordan Hill. The pick was then sent to the Thunder in the James Harden trade, who in turn used it to select Mitch McGary with the No. 21 selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.

The O’Neal trade was one that worked out in the end for both sides. The Heat reaped the immediate benefits, winning the title in his second season with the team. Most franchises would gladly make a deal that netted them a banner to hang in their arena’s rafters. But Shaq’s tenure didn’t end well in Miami, due to injuries and clashes with the coaching staff, which somewhat lessens the Heat’s end of the trade despite their having obtained the best player in the deal.

The Lakers’ situation was different than the one that the Wolves now find themselves in with Love. Shaq was openly disruptive his last season and a half in Los Angeles, and he publicly demanded a trade. Retaining him could have caused Bryant to sign elsewhere as a free agent, which would have been disastrous, especially if he went to the Clippers.

Love has been a good soldier throughout all of the losing seasons in Minnesota, but the franchise still has no choice but to deal their star, lest they lose him for nothing next summer. It’s not an ideal situation, but the Timberwolves’ return for Love could turn out to be rather decent if Andrew Wiggins develops into the superstar many scouts project him to be.

Los Angeles didn’t net a player of Wiggins’ potential in their trade with Miami, but Odom was a vital piece of the puzzle during his time with the Lakers. It’s doubtful that the Wolves will contend for a championship in the next few seasons, though the Cavs hope to repeat what the Heat did after the Shaq trade and vie for the title in the coming years. It’s never an easy decision to trade away a star player, but some franchises have no other choice. Time will tell who wins the Love-Wiggins swap.