While only a small portion of Lamar Odom's 2012-13 salary -- $2.4 million -- is guaranteed, for a team like the Dallas Mavericks that is trying to open up enough salary cap room to make a major free agent play, every dollar counts. ESPN New York's Ian Begley reports that the Mavericks will look to unload Odom before the team must waive him on June 29. Trading him would clear the $2.4 million minimum off the team's 2012-13 books; simply waiving him would leave that figure on the books, and the team would then be unable to trade the salary figure.
As such, the Mavericks will be looking for a team who can a) absorb Odom's full 2012-13 cap figure ($8.2 million) without sending guaranteed salary back, b) isn't concerned with tying up $2.4 million in empty salary, and c) likes whatever sweetener Dallas offers. Given that no team will likely forgo waiving Odom and pay him the full $8.2 million next season, trading for him guarantees that $2.4 million in empty salary.
Dallas does have young guards Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones, as well as its own No. 17 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Mark Cuban, the team's owner, has also always been willing to contribute cash to deals; new NBA rules limit such payments in trades to an aggregate of $3 million over one salary cap season.