EL SEGUNDO, Calif, July 14 -- The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired forward Lamar Odom, forward Caron Butler, forward Brian Grant and a future first round draft pick from the Miami Heat in exchange for center Shaquille O’Neal, it was announced today.
Odom, the fourth overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, averaged 17.1 points, a career-high 9.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 80 games for the Heat last season. A member of the 2004 US Men’s Olympic Team that will be competing in Athens later this summer, the 6’10” Odom left the University of Rhode Island after a sophomore season in which he was named AP Honorable Mention All-America and Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year. After tallying 30 points and 12 rebounds in his NBA debut, Odom went on to be selected to the 1999-2000 NBA All-Rookie First team and in five NBA seasons, has career averages of 16.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 310 games.
Butler, the 10th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, averaged 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds this year. In the 2004 Playoffs, Butler averaged 12.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.15 steals and 39.3 minutes in 13 games. As a rookie, Butler led all first year players in scoring, steals and minutes, earning Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors on four occasions while being named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Butler played two seasons at the University of Connecticut where he earned AP Honorable Mention All-America honors after his sophomore season in addition to being named a John Wooden All-American. The 6’7” Wisconsin native has posted career averages of 12.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.45 steals in 146 games.
Grant, the eighth overall selection in the 1994 NBA Draft, averaged 8.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 30.3 minutes in 76 games last season with Miami. Joining Odom and Butler as a fellow NBA All-Rookie First Team member, Grant boasts a .491 career field goal percentage along with career averages of 11.4 points and 8.0 rebounds. In addition, the 6’9” Grant was named the winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for the 1998-99 season in recognition of his outstanding community service and charitable work.
O’Neal leaves the Lakers after eight seasons as the franchise’s sixth leading scorer (13,895), third best from the field (.575), fifth leading rebounder (6,090) and second leading shot blocker (1,278). During his career in Los Angeles, O’Neal was named NBA Most Valuable Player once (2000), Finals Most Valuable Player three times (2000, 2001, 2002) and All-NBA First Team on six occasions (1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004). A 14-time Player of the Week, 8-time Player of the Month and 7-time All-Star as a Laker, O’Neal posted averages of 27.0 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.49 blocked shots while winning three NBA Championships (2000, 2001, 2002) in Los Angeles.