The Dallas Mavericks made a ton of moves this past year, seemingly improving their team significantly, but the Lamar Odom experiment reminds things don’t always work as planned.
Late in 2011, the Dallas Mavericks made a move they thought could push their team over the top. In a Mid-December move with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Mavs traded a pick and their trade exemption for 2x NBA champion, Lamar Odom. Odom, an LA resident for 11 of the past 12 seasons, was brought in for his winning pedigree as well as his position flex.
Standing 6’10 220lbs, Odom was big enough to play the four (or even the five) and athletic enough to play the three. His versatility would be useful for a Dallas Mavericks team that thrived on mismatches and ever-changing attacks.
Having just lost Tyson Chandler in free agency, and coming off a championship season, the Dallas Mavericks knew something needed to be done. Adding the talented Odom who just won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year and averaged 14.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3 assists per game a season before, was hopefully enough to alleviate Dallas’s free agent loses.
As many of us know, what looked good on paper did not work out in reality. And it’s that lesson the Dallas Mavericks would be wise to remember as they piece together a roster that’s full of potential, but largely unproven.
We know Luka Doncic is one of the best young players in the NBA. We also know a couple years ago Kristaps Porzingis was one of the best youngin’s as well. But we don’t know how they’ll look in 2019-20 and we don’t know how they’ll look playing together.
Again, it looks good on paper and sounds good in theory but until it’s put to practice, we’re all just speculating.
Same goes for the many role players. The thinking is if all the role players play their part and show modest improvement, they will more than make up for not having a clear No. 3 option on this team. But how they all progress and how they all meld is far from a sure thing.
The good news is Dallas made it a point to re-sign their own guys. Rick Carlisle knows who he’s got. He’s not taking multiple swings at outside players here. In fact, even the headlining free agent addition, Seth Curry, has a track record with the Mavs. They know who he is and how he’ll fit.
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Another positive in this is none of these players are like Lamar Odom. Odom arrived as damaged goods. He was said to be hurt and fragile after being included on the failed trade for Chris Paul, and was never able to put the “betrayal” behind him. The guy was already clocked out before he ever arrived in Dallas.
What all happened behind the scenes is up for debate. Odom has his side and Cuban has his, but what was clear is Odom’s heart was not in it when he played for Dallas. He mailed in performances and never approached the intensity of play he’d previously been known for.
The best news this offseason (besides KP signing his new deal) is how all the players are getting together to grow on a personal level. Building relationships is more than just on-court cohesion but it’s everything else too. The Dallas Mavericks seem to be doing that. There’s no bad apples or forced relationships. Everyone looks genuinely happy to be here.
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We cannot forget the lesson Lamar Odom taught us nearly a decade ago: What looks good on paper doesn’t always look good in applied practice. There’s a lot of unknowns on this 2019-20 Dallas Mavericks team and we should be ready for anything – good and bad.
- Published on 09/13/2019 at 12:30 PM
- Last updated at 09/13/2019 at 11:18 AM