Shaquille O'Neal would be happy to be traded to the Miami Heat.
That word came last night from O'Neal's agent, Perry Rogers, who told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that O'Neal has given his blessing to a deal that would send him from the Lakers to Miami.
"We've said that we would agree to a trade," Rogers said in a story on the newspaper's website. "I think that's going to happen. I'd be very surprised if it didn't happen."
The deal, expected to include Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, and Brian Grant going to Los Angeles, cannot be completed until Wednesday when a two-week moratorium on trades and free agent signings expires.
"It's very serious. I think it's very close to getting done," said Grant's agent, Mark Bartelstein.
O'Neal told reporters in Orlando he had not yet met with Heat president Pat Riley and declined to comment on a possible trade.
But ESPN and the Sun-Sentinel reported that O'Neal joined his representatives for a three-hour meeting that included Riley and Heat GM Randy Pfund. O'Neal's contract runs for two more seasons with a combined salary of almost $59 million, and he was angered earlier this season when the Lakers refused to offer him an extension. . . .
Rudy Tomjanovich made it clear that Kobe Bryant will be the focal point of the Lakers' offense -- if the All-Star free agent stays with the team.
"He has already done legendary things on the court," Tomjanovich said of Bryant yesterday at his first news conference as Lakers coach. "I truly believe he has a chance to become the greatest player ever to play the game."
Bryant reportedly has narrowed his choices to the Lakers or Clippers.