Lamar Odom going from Mavs to Clippers—source
By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writer June 29, 2012 11:22AM
FILE - In Thursday, May 31, 2012, file photo, an Emirati organizer, left, fists bump with an Omani hockey player while he leaves the rink during a match with Kuwait in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Ice hockey would seem a tough sell in the Gulf, where temperatures routinely reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for half the year and sand dunes far outnumber indoor ice rinks. But a growing numbers of Emirati men and women are taking to the ice, inspired by introduction of NHL games on cable television and the novelty of playing a winter sport in desert region. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)
DALLAS — An agreement is in place that would send Lamar Odom back to Los Angeles for a second chance with the Clippers and reunite Mo Williams with the Utah Jazz, a person with knowledge of the deal said Thursday night.
That person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because a three-team deal between the Dallas Mavericks, Clippers and Jazz is still contingent on Williams exercising his $8.5 million player option for next season. That person said that was expected to happen by Friday.
Williams was drafted by the Jazz in 2003, and played 57 games as a rookie before going to Milwaukee, Cleveland and then the Clippers.
The Jazz are in position to absorb Williams’ salary without sending a player to Dallas by using a trade exception created last season when they dealt Mehmet Okur to New Jersey.
Dallas faced a Friday deadline on a $2.4 million buyout of Odom’s $8.2 million option for next season. If the deal goes through, the Mavericks instead will have an $8.2 million trade exception, similar to what they used to acquire Odom from the Los Angeles Lakers last December before the strike-shortened season.
The Dallas Morning News first reported that a deal had been struck.
Jazz officials declined to comment about any reported deal, though general manager Kevin O’Connor said Thursday night that letting Williams leave after just one year was “my worst mistake.”
Williams signed with Milwaukee, became a starter, and was an All-Star as recently as 2009.
Asked to recall the amount he let Williams leave Utah for, O’Connor shook his head and said, “It wasn’t that much.”
Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin made no effort to hide how much he likes Williams but said he is another team’s player at this point.
“He’s a great player. We drafted him here. Until something else happens, that’s all I want to say about it,” he said.
While Williams put up solid numbers in Los Angeles under difficult circumstances, Odom — drafted fourth overall by the Clippers in 1999 — is coming off an underwhelming 50-game stint with Dallas that didn’t even take him through the entire season. He was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year for the Lakers for the 2010-11 season.
The Mavericks on April 9 said Odom would be inactive for the rest of the season, when the then-defending NBA champions still had nine regular season games left and were making their push toward the playoffs. That move came two days after a heated halftime exchange during a game between Odom and Dallas owner Mark Cuban, who questioned the player’s commitment to the team.
Odom’s averages of 6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 20.5 minutes in Dallas were career lows. The 32-year-old Odom has averaged 14.2 points and 8.6 rebounds in 879 career games.
Williams averaged 13.2 points and 3.1 assists in 52 games last season for the Clippers, who acquired him in a trade from Cleveland in February 2011. In 589 career games, he has averaged 13.8 points and 4.9 assists a game.
He played out of position much of last season after the blockbuster deal that brought Chris Paul to the Clippers and the team then acquired Chauncey Billups.
Agent Mark Bartelstein said Williams showed his professionalism by playing well through the difficult situation but has maintained that his client should be a starting point guard in the NBA.
The Jazz took Williams 47th overall in 2003, coincidentally the same pick they had in Thursday night’s draft, which they used to draft Tennessee Tech guard Kevin Murphy.
Utah already has Devin Harris at point guard, having acquired him as part of the blockbuster deal that sent superstar Deron Williams to the Nets in 2011. But team officials told The Associated Press they could make it work with both Harris and Mo Williams.
O’Connor immediately after the season said the team was trying to get Harris to play some shooting guard as well as second point guard.
Harris, who like Mo Williams is 29, got off to a slow start with the Jazz but finished last season strong, averaging 11.3 points and 5.0 assists.
Bartelstein, reached Thursday night, declined to comment as “nothing is done yet.”