Shawn Marion for Lamar Odom?

On September 30, 2007, in General, by Neil Stevens

No, it’s not too early for basketball, thank you very much. Even if I were a football fan, there is no football in LA, and besides, all those NL festivities today just don’t apply to the the boys in blue.

So let’s look at the rumored trade possibility of the disgruntled Shawn Marion for the inconsistent Lamar Odom. Is it possible? Is it smart? Should it happen?

Whether the trade is possible depends solely on the collective bargaining agreement. Two players can be traded straight up as long as the higher-salaried player makes no more than 125% of the other. And Marion is owed $16.44 million this year, as the Suns’ highest paid player. Odom, meanwhile, is due to get $13.524 million as the Lakers’ second highest. That leave a cool $0.5 million to spare under the CBA, making this a legal trade possibility according to the cap, because neither player is covered under other special rules such as Base Year Compensation or post-signing trade restriction.

But is it smart? Marion is listed as a 6’7″, 228lb forward, while Odom is 6’10”, 230lbs of triangle offense flexibility. Their positions and roles are similar enough superficially that we might just be able to look at stats, which I pull from 2006-2007:

Lamar Odom15.946.829.79.84.8
Shawn Marion17.552.431.79.81.7

Remarkably similar players, it seems. The two glaring differences (PPG and APG) can be accounted for partially by their team differences, I expect. Odom passes more within the triangle, while Marion receives passes from Nash, so Odom gets more assists. Meanwhile the Suns play more possessions, so that inflates Marion’s scoring vs. Odom. So in this respect it appears to be a fair trade, even if Marion’s a bit of a better shooter and Odom’s a better defender.

There are of course non-basketball concerns here. For the Suns, they’d like to get out from under the luxury tax, while also possibly ridding their locker room of a disgruntled complainer. Odom’s lesser salary could be all the difference they need for that. And the Lakers are under threat from Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant to improve, or else. Both teams would seem to benefit here.

So I think this trade should happen, and needs to happen as soon as possible. But, knowing Mitch Kupchak, that virtually guarantees it won’t happen…


Comments are closed.

Nima Jooyandeh facts.