The trade that sent Lamar Odom to the Mavericks will be remembered as one of the strangest in recent NBA history. Let's recap:
The Lakers were set to acquire Chris Paul from the Hornets before David Stern infamously pulled the plug. Both Odom and Pau Gasol were to be included in the trade. Because the deal-that-wasn't irreparably harmed their relationship with Odom... or because Jim Buss really wanted to clear a contract... or maybe because he really wanted to stop giving courtside seats to Kardashians... the Lakers opted to trade the reigning sixth man of the year to a Western Conference rival for a pittance -- a late first-round pick and cap relief.
Odom, meanwhile, struggled to learn Rick Carlisle's offense. He also became such a negative influence in the locker room that Mark Cuban told him to get lost for the rest of the season. The Mavericks won't waive Odom - they'll still have a chance to trade him after the playoffs.
Four months later, and both teams are probably worse off having made the deal. The Lakers used the pick acquired in the Odom deal to get Houston to take on Derek Fisher's salary - and while they've been playing pretty well and will win the Pacific Division once again, the small forward position has been a major weak spot all year.
The Mavericks are in danger of missing the playoffs.
We talk a lot in this space about players whose names show up on lots of winning fantasy teams... guys like Jeremy Lin, who emerge out of nowhere at midseason and put up huge numbers. Odom's on the opposite list - a waste of a high draft pick who gave us practically nothing this season.
Same can be said for Al Horford or Zach Randolph - but injuries seem a much better reason for a lost season.
Picks for the Week:
The first set of picks is for players in standard leagues - guys who may be available in your average 10 team/15 player roster league. The second group is for owners in very deep leagues, and will be based more on speculation than actual numbers.
I'll give percent owned stats for both Yahoo! and ESPN/NBA.com leagues with each pick - first number is Yahoo, ESPN/NBA is second. If you play some other league/format, let me know in the comments and I'll do what I can to accommodate.
OJ Mayo (60%/ ) - Developing a nice rapport with Gilbert Arenas, and putting up good numbers off the bench of late.
Randy Foye (48%/72.5) - Foye is available in a lot of leagues because many thought he'd lose playing time after the Clippers acquired Nick Young at the deadline. But Foye has been so hot, his role has actually increased. He'll probably regress to his career norms before too long... but the fantasy playoffs are an excellent time to ride a hot streak.
Iman Shumpert (43%/51.5%) - The Knicks still won't say if (when) Amar'e Stoudemire will return to the court, but it seems he'll be out for at least another week. In the meantime, Shumpert will likely continue to start and pick up some of the scoring load, while generating a pretty fair number of steals.
Corey Maggette (41%/30.1%) - Back in the rotation despite a nagging Achilles' injury, Maggette has re-asserted himself as perhaps the Bobcats' primary scoring threat. (That says more about the Bobcats than it does about Maggette... but hey, with two weeks left in the season, we'll take points where we can get 'em.)
Glen Davis (39%/24.9%) - Big Baby has been putting up very good numbers while Dwight Howard rehabs an aching back.
JJ Barea (34%/49.4%) - Finally, one of Minnesota's point guards is healthy. Get him.
Greivis Vasquez (31%/27.9%) - Jarrett Jack is done for the year, which makes Vasquez the Hornets' floor leader for the rest of the season, and a very solid start.
Courtney Lee (28%/21.0%) - Filling the void left my Kevin Martin's injury very nicely, and racking up quite a few steals in the process.
Kevin Seraphin (28%/53.7%) - Trevor Booker and Nene are still dealing with injuries, which leaves the rookie significant minutes at the four and five spots.
Charles Jenkins (12%/17.1%) - Has now started five straight games for the Warriors. Assuming they don't bring Stephen Curry back before the end of the season (and that would be sort of pointless, with the team tanking and all) Jenkins should be a solid start for the duration.
Ekpe Udoh (10%/5.1%) - Dismal scoring numbers depress his percent owned stats... but look closer. With Drew Gooden back, Udoh isn't even trying to score most of the time - he has just four total shot attempts in the Bucks' last two games. But he is going a nice job in the rebound/block/steal columns.
Nikola Vucevic (2%/0.4%) - In an attempt to shake the Sixers out of a four-game losing streak, Doug Collins plans to move Vucevic into the starting five and bring Spencer Hawes off the bench. Vucevic has the potential to produce pretty decent numbers if he gets starter minutes along with that starting job.
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