SportingNews.com: There’s still no official word on the Shawn Marion-for-Lamar Odom swap detailed on SportingNews.com Tuesday. Marion told me he wants the deal to go down, and he sounded genuinely excited about the possibility of changing scenery. Marion also said he spoke with Kobe Bryant over the weekend and was left with the impression that Bryant supported the trade.
The Lakers, of course, need to appease Bryant. Bryant’s angry tirade in May about the Lakers’ inability to surround him with more talent became a major story of the offseason. The Lakers haven’t done much to improve their roster this summer, and while it could be argued that swapping Marion for Odom wouldn’t lead to significant improvement, it would at least be a change. And the Lakers need a change. If the Lakers are convinced Bryant wants this trade to happen, they’d be foolish not to pursue it.
So what’s the holdup? The deal was presented last week, giving the Lakers and Suns plenty of time to evaluate it.
As I said, there has been no official word. But a source close to the Suns says the Lakers are grappling with the same misgiving Phoenix has expressed: They’re wary of giving Marion an extension, which could cost in the area of $65 million over three years. If L.A. traded for Marion without extending his contract, Marion could opt out next summer and hit the free-agent market. The Lakers still could re-sign him then, but the team might not want to run the risk of giving up Odom, its second most important asset, only to watch Marion leave after one season.