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Old 06-15-2007, 07:33 AM   #1
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Default Lakers-Pacers talks stall....

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.

Odom, 27, averaged 15.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists last season, one that started strongly for him before being interrupted by knee and shoulder injuries. He underwent surgery last month to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, but is expected to return in time for training camp in October.

Of equal, if not greater, concern to the Lakers is the Pacers' desire for the 19-year-old Bynum.

He averaged 10.7 points, nine rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots in 15 games in January before slumping badly. Coach Phil Jackson criticized his work ethic, but the Lakers aren't necessarily ready to give up on the potential of the 10th pick in the 2005 draft.

Brown, 25, also underwent surgery last month, and will be out several months while recovering from a reconstructive operation on his left ankle. He has one year left on his contract at $9.1 million, which makes him appealing to teams hoping to trim payroll after next season.

Talks between the Pacers and Lakers could be jump-started again as the June 28 draft draws closer.

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Old 06-15-2007, 07:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Lakers-Pacers talks stall....

^^ Sorry, didn't know this was already posted
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