- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Yes, they’re represented by the same agent, Jeff Schwartz. That doesn’t lessen the high likelihood that Williams, who grew up in nearby The Colony, will have a max-contract homecoming as a free agent this summer.
Guess what? If anything, Schwartz owes the Mavs a major favor at this point. He orchestrated the deal that shipped Odom, the reigning sixth man of the year, from L.A. to Dallas after the emotionally soft player got his feelings hurt because the Lakers tried to include him in a blockbuster to get Chris Paul. The Mavs got a player in horrendous shape physically and worse shape mentally.
The Mavs more than held up their end of the bargain. They bent over backward trying to get a man with an $8.9 million salary -- plus a $2.4 million buyout due by June 29 -- to care enough to play hard for the defending NBA champions.
Heck, Mark Cuban spent a couple of days practically giving Khloe’s little Lam-Lam foot massages in the W Hotel while the rest of the Mavs were on the road during the most difficult schedule grind of the season. And Cuban still stuck up for Odom afterward, pumping nothing but sunshine about the NBA’s most underachieving player this season.
“You never see us calling out or talking [negatively] about players,” Cuban said last week, speaking in general terms when asked about the drama that had unfolded in Orlando. “If anything, if I’m doing something relative to a player, I’m taking a bullet for him as opposed to shooting one at them.”
Cuban took a bunch of bullets for Odom. Schwartz surely knows that. The only potential benefit of Odom’s awful four months with the Mavs is that it provided further evidence that the Mavs will do everything in their power to try to help a player be successful.
The Mavs should have dumped Odom weeks ago. There was a strong feeling in the locker room that he never should have been welcomed back after Odom’s bizarre, self-imposed, 10-day midseason sabbatical. This is all on Odom.
If Schwartz isn’t sure about that, he can just ask Jason Kidd, the client who has made the power-broker agent more money than anybody. You can rest assured that Kidd wasn’t thrilled that Odom refused to commit to actually trying to help the Mavs repeat.
Kidd, by the way, has also made it clear he’d be happy to back up his golf buddy Williams in Dallas next season.
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