Lakers tried to trade Lamar Odom for Minnesota’s No. 2 pick
Armed with only second-round draft picks in the NBA draft and an aging roster, the Lakers unsuccessfully tried to trade for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ No. 2 overall pick in the first round.
The Lakers offered sixth man of the year Lamar Odom for Minnesota’s No. 2 pick, according to two NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publically on the matter, but L.A. was turned down.
The Lakers wanted to use the second pick on Arizona’s Derrick Williams, an athletic 6-foot-8, 248-pound forward, both officials said.
When the Odom deal was rebuffed by Minnesota, the Timberwolves then inquired about trying to acquire All-Star forward Pau Gasol or center Andrew Bynum from the Lakers, both officials said.
Because the Lakers were not interested in trading Gasol or Bynum, talks broke down between L.A. and Minnesota, and the teams stopped talking, an NBA official said.
Bynum was never an option to be traded because Jim Buss, son of Lakers owner Jerry Buss and the team’s executive vice president of player personnel, has let it be known that the 7-foot center he had a hand in drafting in 2005 is not available.
The proposed deal sending Odom to the Timberwolves could have worked under the current NBA collective bargaining agreement because Minnesota is far enough under the salary cap to take on the 6-10 forward’s contract without having to send another player to the Lakers.
Odom is guaranteed to make $8.9 million next season, but his 2012-13 salary is only partially guaranteed; Odom has a buy-out worth about $2 million.
It appears Odom has become the Lakers’ hot commodity to move because of his contract, versatility and what he might be able to bring back to the team.
Odom, 31, has averaged 14.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists over his 12-year career.
He averaged 14.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists last season when he played in all 82 regular-season games, 35 as a starter.
The Lakers gave their 2011 first-round pick to New Jersey when they traded Sasha Vujacic to the Nets, making it the second consecutive year L.A. has not had a first-round pick.
If the Lakers don’t make a move before the draft Thursday, they will have four second-round picks — the No. 41 selection (received from the New York Knicks); 46 (from the Miami Heat); 56 and 58 (received from the Golden State Warriors via the Nets from the Vujacic trade).
The Lakers, who had 10 players on their roster 30 or older this past season, are in need of a point guard and an outside shooter —– though that probably will be difficult to find with second-round draft picks.
One possibility for the Lakers is Duke’s Nolan Smith, a 6-2 guard who impressed the Lakers with his workout. But Smith might not be around when the Lakers make their pick.
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