The Utah Jazz have appeared as the potential 3rd team in the L.A. Clippers’ continuing trade discussions to acquire Lamar Odom from the Dallas Mavericks, according to sources close to the process.
Sources said the Jazz are prepared to take on Clippers guard Mo Williams in a 3-team trade eventuality that would send Odom to the Clippers and enable the Mavericks to shed Odom’s salary without taking back any. Vegas odds
A source with awareness of Williams’ thinking said that Williams has made a decision to take a trade to the Jazz, which keeps the trade on schedule to be completed.
The trade can’t be completed unless Williams agrees to invoke his $8.5 million player option for next season, suggesting the 29-year-old is to all intents and purposes deciding if he wants to come back to the Jazz — where he began his career in 2003-04 — or test free agency this summer.
Williams’ agent, Mark Bartelstein, declared: “Mo and I are having a look at a lot of different things right now. He’ll make his call in the day after or two.”
The trade would be a homecoming of sorts for Odom and Williams, who started their careers with the L.A Clippers and Utah Jazz, each.
Vinny Del Negro grinned when was asked about Odom and the trade, but was not able to speak on the record until the deal was finished.
“I can’t talk of other team’s players,” Del Negro related. “But you know what a player of his caliber has done in this league. …
“We’ll figure all that out,” Del Negro added. “Hopefully, we will be able to finish out the things that we have been working on and move the team in the right direction for what’s best for everybody. There’s still a lot of work to be done and we’ll move forward in that way.”
The Jazz can absorb Williams’ income without sending a player to the Mavericks by employing a trade exception created by last season’s trade of Mehmet Okur to New Jersey.
The Mavericks’ interest in an Odom agreement is purely to gain monetary flexibility, which requires a 3rd team to take on Williams. One possibility discussed, sources announced, was Dallas taking back previous Mavericks point guard Devin Harris to complete a 3-team cope with the Clippers and Jazz, but the Mavericks are endeavoring to avoid soaking up any income in the move.
Dallas is predicted to eventually buy Odom out and make him an independent agent, with big-market teams such as Miami and New York planning to follow him in that scenario.
The Mavericks are one of 2 finalists, along with the Brooklyn Nets, for Dallas-area native Deron Williams and long have planned to hound the re-signing of Nash — who left Dallas for Phoenix in summer 2004 — in the event Williams makes a decision to stay with the Nets.
Sources declared that another team to express interest in Mo Williams is the Los Angeles Lakers, who still have a trade exception sufficiently large to absorb Williams’ contract that they created when they dealt Odom to Dallas.
Odom, in the meantime, is enthusiastic to come back to his adopted home of L.A to continue his career after what amounts to a lost season after his trade from the Lakers to the Mavericks in December.