Chris Paul Lamar Odom
December 11, 2011 by staff
The deal, which was vetoed by NBA commissioner and de facto Hornets owner David Stern on Thursday night for what the NBA deemed “basketball reasons,” would have sent Lakers forward Pau Gasol to Houston and the Rockets’ Kevin Martin and Luis Scola to New Orleans.
But after the parties spent the last two days attempting to satisfy the league’s new marching orders — that the Hornets acquire some combination of younger talent or more draft picks — sources said the deal fell apart when the Lakers pulled out.
“The [new] price was too high,” said one source involved in the talks.
The Lakers wasted no time in switching gears, as sources confirmed an ESPN.com report that forward Lamar Odom is expected to be traded to Dallas. He would be placed into the Mavericks’ trade exception that was acquired as part of their three-team trade with New York and Washington that sent center Tyson Chandler to the Knicks.
The Odom trade was met with much surprise around the league, with sources marveling at what appeared to be a salary dump (Odom will earn $8.9 million this season and has a partially guaranteed $8.2 million next season, with a $2 million buyout). The fact that the two-time NBA champion and reigning Sixth Man of the Year was gift-wrapped to a team that embarrassed the Lakers the Western Conference semifinals last June made it all the more unexpected.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers will receive a 2012 first-round pick from Dallas and possibly a second-round pick, plus an $8.9 million trade exception in the deal. It’s an astonishingly low price that Dallas will pay for Odom, and the latest indication that the times and priorities may be changing in L.A. With Lakers executive Jim Buss, the son of owner Jerry Buss, heading the operation these days, the Odom trade will do little to change the opinion of those who believe they Lakers are “in cost-cutting mode,” as one source close to the situation said. “I think the Buss’ kids are now running the team, for the most part, and they’re trying to make as much money as they can,” the source said. “Everything is changing there.”
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