Much has been made concerning several trades the Los Angeles Lakers have explored recently. More specifics of those discussions have been made public over the past few hours.
The biggest splash concerned a potential trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves that would have brought Kevin Love and the No. 2 pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft to Los Angeles in exchange for Pau Gasol. The real story behind that exchange has now come to light.
The Lakers actually offered Lamar Odom to the T-Wolves for the No. 2 pick straight up, with the intention of drafting Arizona forward Derrick Williams with the pick. Minnesota turned the offer down, then asked the Lakers if they’d be willing to deal Gasol or Andrew Bynum instead. The Lakers said no and talks broke down.
Odom has apparently also been shopped around to other teams. In fact, the Lakers also offered Mr. Kardashian and guard Shannon Brown to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Monta Ellis. The Warriors declined.
Odom has two years left on his contract. He will make $8.9 million next season, but only $2.4 million of his $8.2 million salary is guaranteed for 2012-13 because of a club option for that year. So really, he’s not that expensive an option for a team in need of a versatile, veteran presence.
The Lakers would like to get younger and Odom, the NBA’s reigning Sixth Man of the Year, is an attractive piece for other teams.
We’re surprised the Wolves dismissed a deal for the No. 2 pick outright, since taking Williams would only overload their frontcourt with young players. While a straight up deal of Odom for the No. 2 pick might have been a tad optimistic by the Lakers, we are surprised the two teams didn’t continue to work on something.
One thing is clear though, the Lakers are willing to part with Odom in the right deal if it helps them get younger and more athletic.