Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Back in 2011, after the Los Angeles Lakers had their trade to acquire Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets blocked by then NBA commissioner David Stern, Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss had to find a taker for reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom.
Odom, along with Pau Gasol, was set to be a part of the trade package for Paul, and after the deal was nixed, Khloe Kardashian’s husband decided that he couldn’t return to the Lakers and asked to be dealt elsewhere.
So, the purple and gold searched for a taker for Odom.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban decided to trade a first-round pick for the skilled power forward.
At the time, the deal looked like a winner for the Mavs, though the Rhode Island product would play in just 50 games for the Mavericks, averaging 6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 20.5 minutes per game, and six months later he was dealt to the team that originally drafted him in 1999, the Los Angeles Clippers.
Now, looking back on the move, Cuban says the deal to acquire Odom “was by far the worst” personnel decision he has ever made, according to Dwain Price from the Star-Telegram:
For what it’s worth, the move ended up working out better for the Lakers.
L.A. sent Dallas’ first-round pick to the Houston Rockets, along with Derek Fisher, for big man Jordan Hill, who the team still has on their roster to this day.
Aside from Kobe Bryant, Hill is currently the longest tenured player on the Lakers.
The Lakers also created a trade exception with the Odom deal. They later used this TPE to acquire Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade deal with the Phoenix Suns, which also included four draft picks.
Of course, the Nash move didn’t live up to expectations, either, though this was down to a freak injury in the two-time MVP’s second game as a Laker.
The Odom situation was a little more complicated.
Still, no one could have predicted this kind of downfall for the two-time NBA champion, so Cuban shouldn’t beat himself up too much about the deal.