Report: Utah could facilitate Odom to Clippers, but Mo Williams is key

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And we have come to this — Mo Williams holds the key to Lamar Odom’s future.

PBT told you yesterday that the Los Angeles Clippers were interested in trading for Lamar Odom. While a lot of people speculated that they wanted him to be a backup big behind Blake Griffin, the fact is he could be bought out for $2.4 million (his contract is for $8.2 million) and one never wants to underestimate Donald Sterling’s desire to save money.

But either way, the Clippers and Mavericks needed a third team because Dallas is trying to lower its payroll and didn’t want to take Mo Williams and his $8.5 million salary on.

They found that third team in the Utah Jazz, reports Marc Stein and Chad Ford at ESPN. But there is a catch. There is always a catch.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Jazz are willing to take on Clippers guard Mo Williams in a three-team trade scenario that would send Odom to the Clippers and enable the Mavericks to shed Odom’s salary without taking back any salary.

The ball now is in Williams’ court. The trade cannot be completed unless Williams agrees to invoke his $8.5 million player option for next season by Saturday’s deadline, which means that the 29-year-old is essentially deciding if he wants to return to the Jazz — where he began his career in 2003-04 — or test free agency this summer.

Williams said he will decide in the next couple of days, but in reality he has about 24 hours if the Clippers plan to buy Odom out. Odom’s contract calls for a June 29 deadline on the buyout.

Williams almost certainly would not get a salary as big as big as $8.5 million for next year, but he could get the security of a multi-year deal at a lower price.

If this trade falls through — or another one isn’t found — the Mavericks will buy out Odom and he will become a free agent.