The Clippers might be interested in Lamar Odom
The Clippers have engaged in trade discussions to bring Lamar Odom back to the L.A. team that drafted him, according to sources near to the scenario. Online Sportsbook
Yet the agreement, sources said, could hinge on the willingness of a 3rd team to take on the agreement of Clippers veteran guard Mo Williams, which would allow the Mavericks to send Odom to the Clippers with no important cash coming back to the Dallas Mavericks .
With a Friday cut off point approaching for the Mavericks to buy out the final year of Odom’s deal for $2.4 million, Dallas officers have green-lighted Odom’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, to try to find a new home for Odom this week via trade. The Mavericks and Schwartz also have discussed pushing the cut-off point back into July if an Odom trade cannot be struck before Friday.
The Mavericks’ interest in an Odom contract, though, is purely to gain financial flexibility, which probably necessitates a 3rd team to take on Williams. If no trade can be struck, either this week or before an adjusted deadline, Dallas is expected to eventually buy Odom out and make him an independent agent, with big-market teams such as Miami and New York also planning to chase him in that scenario.
Even though Williams is a former All-Star and still a valuable contributor at 29-year-old, Dallas has little need for him given its long-planned pursuits of marquee free agents Deron Williams and Steve Nash and its oft-stated need to bring back championship-winning point guard Jason Kidd when free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
Mo Williams has maintained all season that he intends to exercise his $8.5 million player option for the 2012-13 season in spite of the fact the L.A. Clippers have Chris Paul and promising youngster Eric Bledsoe at point guard, and wish to bring back veteran guard Chauncey Billups, even after the 35-year-old suffered a season-ending Achilles injury.
Yet it is still to be seen whether Mo Williams will hold to that position. He has until June 30 to make that decision and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, recently asserted that he and the Los Angeles Clippers were “kind of exploring all” to find the most practical solution.
Sources said that one team to express interest in Williams is the L.A. Lakers, who still have a trade exception big enough to absorb Williams’ agreement that they created when they dealt Lamar Odom to Dallas.
Odom, meanwhile, is eager to return his adopted home of L.A. to resume his career after what amounts to a lost season after his trade from the Lakers to the Mavericks in December.
Drafted by the Clippers in 1999 and a winner of 2 championship rings in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons with the L.A Lakers , Odom never fit with the Mavericks and left the team by common consent before the playoffs commenced after a nightmarish 3 months.
Odom has been working out on his own ever since and will try to earn a place on the team bound for the London Olympics next month when he reports to Team USA training camp in Las Vegas.