Lamar Odom back with the Clippers?
Well, he wants to go somewhere he is comfortable and Los Angeles is that. And he wants to play for a team that could go deep in the playoffs, and the Clippers are that. Or, the Clippers could just buy him out and save some cash.
But the Clippers are talking about getting Lamar Odom in a trade from the Mavericks, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. But there is a catch. Isn’t there always.
The Los Angeles Clippers have engaged in trade discussions to bring Lamar Odom back to the L.A. team that drafted him, according to sources close to the situation.
Yet the deal, sources said, could hinge on the willingness of a third team to take on the contract of Clippers veteran guard Mo Williams, which would allow the Dallas Mavericks to send Odom to the Clippers with no significant money coming back to the Mavericks.
The Clippers may not have to look far to find a team interested in Williams and his $8.5 million salary. Just look down the hall.
Sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday that one team to express interest in Williams is the Los Angeles Lakers, who still have a trade exception big enough to absorb Williams’ contract that they created when they dealt Odom to Dallas.
Things could move fast here — there is a Friday deadline to buy Odom out. He is slated to make $8.2 million next season but can be bought out by $2.4 million by Friday. That deadline can be extended by mutual agreement of Odom and the Mavericks, and Dallas might be willing to do that if Odom’s agent is close to finding a deal.
Odom struggled last season in Dallas after having a rough off-season in his personal life then being blindsided by the Lakers trying to trade him. Because of that, he demanded a trade and the Lakers sent him to Dallas. Odom is an emotional person and what happens in his life off the court can impact him plenty on it. However, Odom has seemed right of late according to reports and could return to his Sixth Man of the Year form. If he does he’s worth the full salary.
The Clippers would get some depth along the front line behind Blake Griffin, something they have been looking for. (Or, owner Donald Sterling could just buy him out and save money.)
Dallas would get financial flexibility, which is what they crave most as they try to lure Deron Williams there (with the promise they can add a lot of talent around him).
The Lakers would get a backup guard who could score, maybe meaning they wouldn’t have to play Kobe Bryant 49 minutes a game.
There’s some logic to this. But that is a long way from reality. There’s still a good chance the Mavericks just end up buying Odom out.