The Clippers continued to work on a trade for Lamar Odom Thursday night. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)
While the Clippers closed in on acquiring Lamar Odom from the Dallas Mavericks in a deal for Mo Williams, they concluded Thursday night by making Turkish power forward Furkan Aldemir their second-round pick, and 53rd overall, in the NBA draft.
Odom was the bigger story, and he would be the centerpiece in a proposed three-team trade that could be completed as early as Friday.
If the trade goes ahead, Odom would come to the Clippers, Williams would go to the Jazz and Utah would send Dallas a trade exception, according to Clippers officials who were not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations.
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The Clippers continued to work on the trade for Odom Thursday night, but no deal had been reached, according to a team official.
The deal may be contingent contigent on Williams' agreeing to exercise his option on his $8.5-million contract for next season. Some reports said Williams had agreed to do so Friday so the Odom deal could go through, but Clippers officials said that was inaccurate.
A report from Utah also said that team's management was unaware of a deal being reached.
Williams has until Saturday to inform the Clippers if he will exercise his option. Clippers officials said they believe that Williams will decide to exercise it.
"That's the impression that I've gotten," Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "That's his decision and whatever he feels is best for his career is most important right now."
The Mavericks have a deadline of Friday to buy Odom out of his $8.2-million contract for $2.4 million. But that time frame could be moved back to help the trade along.
"I can't talk about other teams' players," Del Negro said. "But you know what a player of his caliber has done in the league for a long time."
The Jazz could take on Williams' salary and not have to send a player to the Mavericks, which was their preference, because the Jazz instead will send the trade exception it received from trading Mehmet Okur to the New Jersey Nets last season. The trade exception is worth at least $8.5 million.
As for the Clippers' draft choice, there is a chance they could stash Aldemir in Europe rather than bring him to Los Angeles in the fall.
Aldemir, a 6-10 forward, played in the Turkish Basketball League the last five seasons, averaging 6.7 points and 6.4 rebounds.
"At that stage, you just want the best available talent out there," Del Negro said. "Obviously, if it fits one of your needs, you want the guy that obviously has a big upside."