Hoopsworld: Business deals fall apart all the time.
For fans of the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s difficult to understand how quickly Trevor Ariza went from NBA Finals hero to an expatriate Houston Rocket.
Equally, there’s a palpable excitement surrounding Trevor’s replacement, former Defensive Player of the Year, Ron Artest.
The Lakers may eventually prove to be better than they were a year ago but until free agent Lamar Odom is re-signed, the franchise has taken a step backwards. LA just doesn’t have a proven big man behind Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum without the versatile Odom.
With teams like the Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks and Orlando Magic retooling to challenge the Lakers, keeping Lamar is General Manager Mitch Kupchak’s top priority.
With the Lakers and Odom’s representatives still far apart in talks, Kupchak can only profess to be “hopeful” that a compromise will be reached.