Lakers trade Lamar Odom, set sights on Dwight Howard
GANNETT WIRE SERVICES December 11, 2011 7:22PM
Updated: December 12, 2011 11:43AM
A weekend of moves and counter moves did not enable the Los Angeles Lakers to acquire New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul or Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard — or both.
Instead, 6-10 Lakers forward Lamar Odom was traded to the Dallas Mavericks, a move that might enable Los Angeles to put together a deal for Howard.
The Hornets did lose a player, but it wasn’t Paul. Free-agent forward David West, influenced by Paul likely not staying in New Orleans, signed to play for the Indiana Pacers.
The Mavericks will send the Lakers a 2012 draft pick and an $11 million trade exception (from sending center Tyson Chandler to the New York Knicks) for Odom, according to a person with knowledge of negotiations who requested anonymity because the deal is not official. Odom was last season’s Sixth Man of the Year, averaging 14.4 points and 8.7 rebounds.
That will help the Lakers put together a deal for Howard that likely also will include 7-1 Los Angeles center Andrew Bynum. Howard, like Paul, can become a free agent after the season and won’t sign an extension to stay put. The Magic gave permission to the Lakers, Mavericks and New Jersey Nets to speak with Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan.
“If I’m here, I’m looking forward to the season,” Bynum said. “If they were able to pull a move like that off, it would be great for the organization, and I’d be in Orlando hooping.”
West agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract with the Pacers, said his agent, Lance Young of Octagon, after opting out of the final year of his deal with the Hornets that would have paid $7.5 million. The 6-9 forward averaged 18.9 points and 7.6 rebounds last season before tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament in April.
Two deals by the Lakers, Hornets and Houston Rockets would have sent Paul to the Lakers, but the NBA said it wasn’t good enough for the league-owned Hornets franchise.
As a result, the Los Angeles Clippers, early suitors for Paul, are back in the mix. However it works out, it has been a distraction for the Hornets.
“We had such a great building block year last season and we’re not even talking about that,” Hornets coach Monty Williams said at camp Sunday.
Odom, not at Lakers camp Sunday, likely will be introduced in Dallas early this week.
“I don’t like it. I’ve known Lamar for a long time, and for the team itself, he’s meant a lot in terms of his versatility, his personality,” Lakers star Kobe Bryant said. You’re talking about sixth man of the year last year. He played lights out.”
- The Rockets gave an offer sheet to restricted free-agent center Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of negotiations. If Gasol signs it, the Grizzlies would have three days to match the offer to keep him.
- The Golden State Warriors used the amnesty clause — waiving a player without his salary counting against the cap or luxury tax — to release guard Charlie Bell and his $4.1 million salary. Bell was jailed Thursday in his hometown of Flint, Mich., after showing up intoxicated at a court hearing on a drunken driving case.