Earl K. Sneed reports from Day 3 of the Mavericks' training camp on Sunday, where the team prepares for the arrival of new acquisition Lamar Odom and free-agent guard Vince Carter.
DALLAS -- What a difference a day makes? Or in the case of the Dallas Mavericks, a mere matter of hours may have completely changed the landscape of the NBA and the defending champions' track towards defending their title.
After announcing on Saturday that they had lost the services of center Tyson Chandler to New York in a three-team, sign-and-trade deal with the Knicks and Washington Wizards, the Mavs reportedly bounced back in a big way, using a trade exception from the Chandler deal to bring in two-time champion and reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom from the Los Angeles Lakers.
The versatile 6-foot-10 Odom is arguably coming off one of his best seasons as a pro, averaging 14.4 points and snatching down 8.7 rebounds a game, and doing so mostly in a reserve role. The former Rhode Island standout and 12-year pro has spent the last seven seasons with the Lakers, advancing to three straight NBA Finals -- claiming back-to-back Larry O'Brien trophies in the process -- before L.A. suffered a second-round sweep at the hands of the Mavs during Dallas' sprint to the winners' circle.
For his career, Odom has averaged 14.6 points and 8.9 boards and is expected to add scoring, defense and help on the glass to a forwards rotation that already features Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki and four-time All-Star Shawn Marion.
"He's a terrific basketball player," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of Odom. "Lamar Odom is a guy we have great respect for as a person and as an all-around player in this league. We feel he's gonna add so many different dimensions for us -- length, play-making, scoring, experience, championship experience. And right now, for me, having Odom, Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion ... we may have the best forward trio in this league right now, and that's exciting."
"Really, to get Lamar Odom for a trade exception, I don't even know what that is," Nowitzki joked. "So, we turned nothing into a great player. I've always been a fan of his game. He's a great all-around player, he's very smooth, very fun to watch. So, I think he's going to fit in great. He can play multiple positions. He can guard multiple positions. He's long. So, he'll fit in well."
But the Mavs may also have to make room for one more new face joining camp before Odom even arrives, as reports surface that the team has its eyes fixed on free-agent swingman and eight-time All-Star Vince Carter. While Odom has 48 hours to report to Dallas once the transaction is official, Carter is believed to be en route to join the defending champs as early as Sunday evening when the team reconvenes for its first evening practice in a two-a-day format.
"We’re going to be a very good team," Carlisle said while looking ahead to integrating the new faces. "We’re going to be a dangerous team. Our goal is to mold into, again, a championship team."
Single-game tickets are on sale and available at the American Airlines Center North Box Office, online at mavs.com, via phone by calling 214-747-MAVS or 1-800-4NBA-TIX and all Ticketmaster outlets (Fiesta Grocery Stores, Wal-Mart, Simon Mall in Garland and the Shops at Willow Bend in Plano).
Rivalry Pack: Aside from being a season ticket holder, the only way for Mavs fans to attend the home opener against the Miami Heat or either of the two Los Angeles Lakers games is through the Rivalry Pack. Tickets to the Dec. 25 game vs. the Miami Heat and the Feb.22 and March 21 games vs. the Los Angeles Lakers can be purchased as part of a three-game package that includes one (1) of the three premium games and two (2) additional regular season games.
RPL Nights: RPL Nights return for the sixth season and will feature special discounted tickets for 10 pre-selected games. Tickets normally priced $9 will be $2, $15 will be $10, $31 will be $20 and $42 will be $32.
Tickets to the Mavs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder preseason game will also be available for purchase Saturday.
The Mavericks open up regular season play Dec. 25 vs. the Miami Heat (1:30 p.m.), with the regular season finale is set for April 20 vs. the Golden State (7:30 p.m.).