Monday, July 8, 2013
Mavs want to test luck with another 2011 Laker?
By Tim MacMahon
Forget about Andrew Bynum’s bum knees for a few minutes. Do the Mavericks really want to bring another 2011 Laker to Dallas?
Maybe the third time would be the charm. The first two members of that squad -- the two-time defending championship team that ended up being barely a speed bump in the parade route around these parts – who later joined the Mavs were disasters in Dallas.
Lamar Odom goes down as one of the greatest disgraces in Dallas sports history. He went from Sixth Man of the Year to scrub during the lockout, and his lack of effort for the Mavs was just embarrassing. The man stole Mark Cuban’s money for a season, continuing to cash checks after Cuban finally had his fill and kicked Odom off the team.
Oh, and the protected first-round pick the Mavs gave up to get Odom seemed like chump change at the time, but it’s handcuffing the Mavs as far as trade assets go (they can't trade future first-rounders) and indirectly helped deliver Dwight Howard to Houston. The Rockets, who acquired that pick from the Lakers, shipped it to Oklahoma City as part of the blockbuster deal to get James Harden, which made recruiting Howard a realistic goal.
And the Odom deal/debacle can get even worse for Dallas. What if the Mavs aren’t good enough to give OKC the pick while it’s top-20 protected through 2017? Can you imagine the Thunder getting a high lottery pick from the Mavs right as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are reaching the middle of their primes?
Derek Fisher's layover in Dallas didn’t cause a whole bunch of collateral damage, other than hurt feelings. At least he had the decency to stop being paid when he quit on the Mavs.
The 37-year-old Fisher lasted a few weeks as the Mavs’ starting point guard before deciding he wanted to spend quality time with his family. That, of course, was a politically correct way of Fisher freeing himself to wait for an opportunity with a contender to come up.
Can the Mavs trust Bynum to pack his heart if he moves to Dallas? Of course not. But it isn’t like there are better big man options available.
We are talking about a guy whose motivation was questioned many times during his stint with the Lakers. This is a dude who quit on Phil Jackson in the legendary coach’s last stand, a broom-waving blowout in Game 4 of the 2011 West semis at the American Airlines Center.
Mavs fans’ strongest memory of Bynum is of his cheap-shot body slam of J.J. Barea, guaranteeing that the big man could exit the Game 4 rout early instead of enduring the embarrassment for 48 full minutes. Who can forget Bynum ripping off his jersey like a pro wrestler as he headed into the tunnel while being hollered at by Cuban and 19,000 other fans?
Do the Mavs really want that guy on their roster? Do they want to test their luck with another 2011 Laker?
In ideal circumstances, the answer would be absolutely not. But Bynum represents the Mavs’ only hope to hit a home run this summer, so they’d roll the dice on his character if his knees don’t scare them away.