Turkish team reportedly pursuing Lamar Odom
After unsuccessfully pursuing Kobe Bryant, the Turkish basketball team, Besiktas, has moved its courtship to another high-profile Laker.
Lakers forward Lamar Odom appears to be the next target, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports. New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams, who signed with the team earlier this offseason, has reportedly urged the club to add Odom to the roster, while Odom, himself, has given it serious consideration.
Whether this actually happens, however, remains to be seen. After all, Besiktas, all but declared Bryant's signing a done-deal this summer before revealing complications in securing a sponsor so it could pay the Lakers' star. Minnesota forward Kevin Love also turned down the chance to play with the Istanbul-based team.PHOTOS: Lamar Odom through the years
Still, the Turkish team is reportedly looking to add a player to its frontline, such as Odom, Nuggets center Nene and Suns center Marcin Gortat, after Besiktas lost Cavaliers forward Semih Erden to a thumb injury. Meanwhile, Odom has past history in Turkey when he played a strong role in Team USA's gold-medal victory in the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Istanbul. Odom also faces some insecurity with the Lakers. His two-year, $17 million contract with the Lakers includes a team option in the 2012-2013 season. The Times' Broderick Turner also reported the Lakers attempted to trade Odom prior to the NBA draft to the Minnesota Timberwolves for their No. 2 pick.
That's why it's not surprising Odom tweeted to forward Pau Gasol if he knew of any available European gigs. It turns out Besiktas just might be one of them.
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Photo: Lamar Odom in Game 2 of the Lakers first-round playoff series this year against Dallas. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times