Artest-for-Odom Trade in the Pipeline?
Yesterday on an ESPN Radio show in Los Angeles, Kings co-owner Joe Maloof confirmed the Lakers have called about Artest, and he certainly didn't shy away from speculation Odom was the player on the table according to this fan's transcript. While the Maloofs will (apparently) leave the details to Petrie, you sense there's interest from Sacramento in making something work here. Obviously, the Lakers are interested ... though the $6-8 million player they'd have to take back with Artest is a likely sticking point.
The Lakers would prefer Mikki Moore, an athletic, spirited big man who shoots infrequently but efficiently and is guaranteed only $2 million in 2009-10, if you cut him before opening day. The Kings would much rather give up Kenny Thomas, a dead-weight growler who used to be effective, but now just takes up cap space. Thomas is owed something like $8.5 million in 2009-10, and L.A.'s over the luxury tax limit (unless they don't extend Kobe next summer, hahahaLOLOL).
Judging by Petrie's refusal to give up Artest for little-to-nothing at the deadline, he won't relent if Moore's not the player he wants to lose. It all comes down to how desperate the Lakers are, and how much they believe Artest can help them next spring. (One plugged-in fan doesn't think it is an upgrade.) Based on L.A.'s early overtures, it seems the team isn't waiting to see how things work out with a healthy Andrew Bynum before making a move.