Yet the deal, sources said, could hinge on the willingness of a third team to take on the contract of Clippers veteran guard Mo Williams, which would allow the Dallas Mavericks to send Odom to the Clippers with no significant money coming back to the Mavericks.
The Mavericks’ interest in an Odom deal, though, is purely to gain financial flexibility, which likely necessitates a third team to take on Williams. If no trade can be struck, either this week or before an adjusted deadline, Dallas is expected to eventually buy Odom out and make him a free agent, with big-market teams such as Miami and New York also planning to pursue him in that scenario.”
It appears Odom, like Williams, wants the best of both worlds — he wants to keep the 8.2 million he’s owed this year and choose where he wants to play. Does Odom really want to play for the Clippers? Maybe…but we can pretty safely assume he doesn’t want to leave at least 3 million on the table if he can help it.
So many questions here. Why not wait until Dallas buys Odom out, and then really see if Odom wants to be a Clipper by signing him in free agency? Does Dallas have any actual leverage here? Are the Clippers trading for Odom just to buy him out, so they can use their amnesty on Ryan Gomes and free up roughly 12 million dollars in cap room? Who is this mystery third team? Would the Clippers gain any draft picks for helping Dallas get rid of their nightmare? Is the plan to trade for Odom so the Clippers can guarantee he doesn’t go to a contender, and so they can use their Mid-Level Exception elsewhere?
I know — there’s a lot to consider here. Stein sums it up pretty well though — is Donald Sterling willing to forgive and forget?
“Yet it remains to be seen whether the Clippers are prepared to push the deal through. In addition to finding a third team, they’ll have to be convinced that Odom is indeed poised for a return to his Lakers form and also bury any lingering dismay from Odom’s departure from the Clippers in the summer of 2003, when, as a restricted free agent, he issued a series of public pleas to owner Donald Sterling to be set free to join the Miami Heat after Miami signed him to an offer sheet.”
We’ll have more as the situation develops. Stay tuned.