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Wednesday, April 11, 2012
A look at the trade market for Lamar Odom

By Tim MacMahon

DALLAS – Lamar Odom likely has zero traditional trade value. It's extremely doubtful that a team is dumb enough to risk paying him $8.2 million next season while hoping he pulls his head out of his shorts.

That doesn’t mean the Mavs won’t be able to deal Odom before the draft.

“The way his contract is structured, it will hopefully create some opportunities for us,” Cuban said. “You know, it’s like Stack’s contract was a few years back, and that worked out well for us.”

Cuban is referring to Jerry Stackhouse, who came to a mutual agreement to part ways with the Mavs in the middle of his last season in Dallas. Like Odom, Stackhouse’s contract was only partially guaranteed the next year, and the Mavs used him as a key chip in a complicated sign-and-trade deal that brought Shawn Marion to Dallas.

The Mavs can explore possibilities to use Odom’s contract – which has a $2.4 million buyout due by June 29 – as bait for an immediate upgrade. However, it’s much more likely that the Mavs basically pay a team to execute Odom’s buyout.

For example, the Mavs could send Odom’s contract, $3 million and maybe a second-round pick to a team with significant salary-cap space, such as the Kings or Raptors. It makes sense for the Mavs because it would keep the $2.4 million off their cap next season. It would make sense for the other team because it’d make a $600,000 profit and possibly get a pick just for doing some paperwork.

Another potential benefit for Dallas in such a deal: The Mavs would get an $8.2 million trade exception, which would be good for a year. That could be especially valuable if they successfully recruit Deron Williams -- which almost certainly means shedding Brendan Haywood or Marion -- and are looking to add a starting-caliber complementary piece.

It’s a safe bet that the Mavs would make better use of that than their last sizeable trade exception, which landed Odom from the Lakers.