Here’s what we can be certain of:

When the Lakers hastily dealt Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks, they did not have another trade waiting in the wings. Obvious speculation would suggest that they had ‘hoped’ to use the draft pick and the $8.9m trade exception they received from Dallas to potentially acquire Dwight Howard (or maybe a few other valuable pieces).

Not that this will come as a shock to really anyone, according to a report from Stephen A. Smith on SportsCenter this morning, Kobe Bryant is simmering:

I predicted that Kobe Bryant will demand a trade, and I am not budging from that. He’s livid. I’ve known Kobe too long. He is ticked off.

As I have stated all along, the current misfires by the Lakers seem to reek of the Jim Buss era, a sentiment Smith addressed as well:

“It’s not just because [the Clippers] got Chris Paul, which is a guy that he expected to have. It’s because Jim Buss seems to be doing the inexplicable. It makes no sense. It’s one thing for the team not to have improved [after losing to the Mavericks], it’s another thing entirely for them to regress. If you know anything about Kobe, that is the last thing that he wants to do. It will not be pleasant at all.”

Bryant publicly declared his faith in Mitch and the Lakers front office when he talked with the media on Sunday, then again when he spoke with Jim Rome earlier this week. However, he did say that he was unaware of what management had brewing and didn’t understand why the Lakers moved Lamar to Dallas.

With the season just nine days away, a cloud of uncertainty continues to hang over the Lakers. As we have all done so often before, we can only sit back and wait to see how this soap opera plays out.