L.A. Times: Where’s Jermaine O’Neal? Still a member of the Indiana Pacers.
The Lakers and Pacers have stalled on trade talks involving the six-time All-Star forward-center because the Lakers do not want to give up both Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom in a swap for O’Neal and power forward Troy Murphy, a source said. The Lakers would also include Kwame Brown in the trade.
O’Neal, 28, is consistently among the league leaders in points, rebounds and blocked shots. He averaged 19.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots last season, the continuation of a career that has been on a solid track since he was traded from Portland to the Pacers in 2000.
Murphy, 27, has outside range and rebounds well, but is a subpar defender who would be included in a deal primarily as salary-cap ballast. The four years and $42.3 million he has left on his contract, coupled with the three years and $64.1 million left on O’Neal’s contract, would practically guarantee that the Lakers would pay the luxury tax for years to come.
Numerous sources have said O’Neal wants to play in L.A., but the Lakers simply do not want to part with Odom and Bynum to make it work. Lakers officials declined to comment Thursday.