Lakers pull offer to Lamar Odom
Lakers owner Jerry Buss is upset that Odom and his representative, agent Jeff Schwartz, haven't made contact with the organization regarding its $9-million per season offer for three years, according to one source...
...Odom and his agent have been seeking $10 million for five years.
Neither Schwartz nor Odom could be reached for comment. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said, "I wouldn't comment on negotiations."
The source also said Buss was not happy that Odom and Schwartz have been having talks with the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat about a deal, but have refused to talk to the Lakers..."
Obviously this isn't the news fans want to hear, but it also doesn't mean the negotiations are over. Not by a long shot.
Because there's so little chatter coming out of each camp, the true depth of tension is tough to read. For me, at least. I believe, though- and this is important- that neither side will get so emotional as to scuttle the process unnecessarily (i.e. there's unlikely to be what Lakers fans now call "A David Lee Moment"). Certainly Odom wasn't throwing bombs when Andy spoke to him Monday night, and for the most part both the Lakers and Schwartz have wisely kept the negotiations out of the media.
Most people seem to believe the sticking point has less to do with yearly salary, and is more about the length of the deal. The Lakers are (understandably) concerned about committing big money to Odom as he gets deeper into his 30s, while Odom is (understandably) looking to get the most out of what will likely be his last big NBA deal.
It's an interesting negotiation, since neither party appears to have a viable Plan B at hand. There isn't a big money suitor readily available for Odom via free agency, and sign-and-trades are always a tricky prospect. The Lakers, meanwhile, will be hard pressed to use the open market to fill his spot should Odom leave. I can say this with some confidence, though: LO isn't going to get 5 years and $50 mil, but I can't believe that's their line in the sand.
Nobody wins if this goes totally off the rails. Odom will be away from the city he loves, and less likely to win more rings. The Lakers, meanwhile, will lose a vital cog in the championship machine. Free agency is a strange game, and like Global Thermonuclear War, the winning move may be simply not to play.
Learn, people! Learn!
As a side note, computers have really come a long way, you know? Today, you could fit most of the stuff in that war room on my cell phone.