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Report: Lamar Odom “desperately” wants to be Laker again

Kobe Bryant And Phil Jackson Address The Media

EL SEGUNDO, CA - MAY 11: Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks during a news conference at the Lakers training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers were swept out of their best of seven series with the Dallas Mavericks four games to none. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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And Dallas fans are shaking their heads….

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reportedly said on a recent radio broadcast that Lamar Odom “desperately” wants to be a Laker again and that he and his agent will speak to Lakers management about it. (Hat tip to LakersNation.com.) Because of the bombastic source, please sprinkle the rumor liberally with salt.

That follows last week’s report that Odom wanted to be a Knick.

We keep hearing that “being comfortable” where he plays is the big issue for Odom, so you expect to hear about the Lakers where he won a ring and has a home, or New York where he grew up. At some point I would expect we will hear Miami rumors as he played there as well.

If Odom is willing to take a steep pay cut, he can play wherever he wants.

The Lakers likely would be interested — they could use depth up front, especially if Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum gets traded — but couldn’t offer any more than the $3 million mini mid-level exception. Which may well be more than the Knicks could offer (they have a full $5 million mid-level exception but will likely have to use all of that to retain Jeremy Lin, and after that all they can offer is a veteran’s minimum deal). The Heat will have the same mini mid-level as the Lakers and, as these playoffs show, could certainly use the depth up front.

It’s a far cry from what Odom was making, and he likely can make more money on the open market.

But if it really is about fit and comfort, he’s going to have to make a sacrifice to get it done. We’ll see if he really is willing.