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Why the Lakers will trade Odom

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07:40 AM ET 06.19 | The Lakers' issue now is making the pieces fit with one problem position, small forward . . . where Lamar Odom would have to go with Andrew Bynum at center and Pau Gasol at power forward. Phil Jackson wants a shooter there badly enough to start his favorite Martian, Vladimir Radmanovic. The weakest part of Odom's game is shooting, a problem that came home to roost with Garnett backing off him. Then there's Odom's $14-million salary, as the Lakers assume as much as $90 million in additional salary and luxury tax over the next three seasons with Gasol. However, from the day they made the trade, the Lakers never thought they would end up paying that much, suggesting they were already thinking of moving Odom. Indeed, Odom was in their package for Gasol until Memphis owner Michael Heisley took him out, asking for lesser players who afforded more cap relief. Odom then surprised everyone, meshing smoothly with Gasol to give the Lakers twin towers who were wizards with the ball and, according to San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich, the NBA's best passing team.

Los Angeles Times

Lamar Odom, AP Lamar Odom, AP

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