Pau Gasol still up for trade after Odom deal finalized

Dec 13, 2011, 07:49 by R.E. Christian

The Dallas Mavericks have obtained one of the NBA's leading big men in a trade that brought Lamar Odom to Texas from the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers receive the Mavs' first-round pick in 2012, which likely takes them out of the high-priced competition for New Orleans guard Chris Paul but may position them for a run at Orlando center Dwight Howard.

Odom was the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year last season with an average of 14.4 points and 8.7 rebounds. He has two years remaining on his contract at a salary of more than $8 million per year and will likely not change the current salary-cap situation in Dallas, The Dallas Morning News said.

The Saturday trade came after the Mavericks lost Tyson Chandler and Caron Butler to free agency.

The Los Angeles Times said Odom had been one of the players ticketed for the three-team trade for Paul, which was voided by the league. His departure is seen as potentially a sign the Lakers are now focused on obtaining Howard from Orlando.

Los Angeles is now better positioned to trade for Howard because it still has Pau Gasol on the roster as a bargaining chip. Should the Lakers fail to make the trade, Gasol will be around to provide height down low along with promising but injury-plagued center Andrew Bynum.

Source: UPI