Lakers Trades: Making Sense of How Odom Trade Fits into a Dwight Howard Deal
At the Los Angeles Lakers media day Sunday, many Lakers players were surprised and shocked by management's latest move that sent Lamar Odom and a 2012 second-round pick to the Dallas Mavericks in return for an $8.9 million trade exception and the Mav's 2012 first-round pick.
Laker fans are hoping this was a necessary move in order to land Dwight Howard because as it stands, the Lamar Odom trade doesn't fit neatly into any deal with Orlando.
Or does it?
Is Jim Buss an evil genius or has he absolutely lost his mind?
From my back-of-the-napkin calculations, here's how the LO deal lands Dwight Howard.
Orlando's Outgoing Salary
It's well known by NBA executives that Orlando wants to move Hedo Turkolgu with Dwight Howard in order to get his contract off Orlando's books.
Combined, the two players earn $28,488,400. The Lakers need to swap salaries within this range in order to complete a deal.
Lakers Use of the Odom Trade Exception
The Lakers cannot use the Lamar Odom trade exception of $8.9 million to take on Turkoglu's contract. Nor can they combine this $8.9 trade exception with other trade exceptions to get to the magic $11 million number required to execute the trade.
What the Lakers can do is trade this exception to another team for an $8 million player with the approval of Orlando. The Lakers then fill an actual body into this trade exception, under Orlando's guidance, and use it to consummate a trade.
Using the trade exception to acquire a player is in effect a non-simultaneous trade. The Lakers and Magic can only organize a multi-player deal where the unnamed player to be received by the Lakers under the $8.9 trade exception is executed as a one-player deal, completing the non-simultaneous Lamar Odom trade, and then used in a larger package between the teams.
Lakers' Outgoing Salary and Offer
This $8 million player is then thrown into the Dwight Howard deal for the Lakers' Andrew Bynum, Howard's successor in Orlando.
Andrew Bynum is under contract for $15,157,667 next year.
With Andrew Bynum and an approximate $8 million player, you get combined salaries of $23,157,667.
As taxpaying teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic can trade player contracts within a 25 percent net margin under the new labor agreement (taxpaying teams are restricted to 125 percent of value of outgoing salaries).
One hundred and twenty five percent of Andrew Bynum plus this $8 million player equates to approximately $28,947,000, enough to take on Dwight and Hedo.
Throw in the Mavericks 2012 first-round pick acquired in the LO trade and the Lakers 2012 first-round pick, and you've got a deal that is both more attractive than New Jersey's and one the league will likely not veto since it includes future draft picks, the basis by which the league twice rejected the three-team Chris Paul deal.
The Lakers have already said they will not trade Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Losing both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum is a death knell for the franchise, essentially trading three seven footers for one.
I don't care how good Dwight Howard is—he's simply not worth the collective front of Bynum, Gasol and Odom.
But with these two new trading chips at their disposal, an $8.9 million trade exception and an extra 2012 first round draft pick, Lakers management now has the tools necessary to orchestrate this huge blockbuster deal.
Still too early to tell which way this whole thing will unfold.
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