Around midnight Eastern time last night, Marc Stein reported that the Lakers abruptly pulled themselves out of the three-team deal they put together to get themselves Chris Paul not once but twice.
After an entire day of unsuccessfully trying to restructure the deal in a way that makes everyone happy, it seems like it was just too much for the Lakers to deal with. They’re shifting gears to get themselves Dwight Howard and are already taking steps to make it happen.
The Lakers informed the league-owned Hornets and the Rockets they were pulling out of the stonewalled deal, sources said, and instead trading Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas is able to accommodate Odom’s $8.9 million salary without surrendering any prized assets thanks to a new trade exception created through the Mavericks’ three-team deal with New York and Washington earlier Saturday that landed Tyson Chandler with the Knicks.
Sources said the Lakers, in return for shedding the unhappy Odom’s salary and sending him to a team one source close to the situation said he’s “excited” to join, will receive Dallas’ 2012 first-round pick and possibly additional draft considerations.
And then on Howard:
The Lakers, meanwhile, will now focus on trying to outduel the New Jersey Nets in trade talks for Dwight Howard. The Orlando Magic center publicly confirmed Saturday that he has asked to be traded, with the Nets, Lakers and Mavs on his wish list. Sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard that the Magic will ask for both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol for Howard; ESPN.com reported last week that the Nets are prepared to send center Brook Lopez and two future first-round picks to the Magic as well as offer to take back the cap-clogging contract of Hedo Turkoglu to facilitate the deal.
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