Lamar Odom, Atari, and you
July 19, 2009 | 1:08 am
More details on the L.O.C.O, (that's Lamar Odom Contract Omniwatch) via the LAT's Broderick Turner. One important detail concerns the terms of LA's offer to their free agent forward:
Essentially, the Lakers offered Odom a guaranteed contract worth $30 million, depending on the length of the deal. Odom prefers a five-year deal but appeared willing to accept the Lakers' offer if they had guaranteed all four years. The Lakers' offer before it was removed was for four years at $9 million a season. But only three years of the deal were guaranteed. The Lakers held the option for the fourth season and had guaranteed Odom $3 million if they decided to buy him out. The Lakers also offered Odom a three-year deal that would have paid him $10 million a season. Either way, at least in the Lakers' eyes, Odom would have been paid at least $30 million with the opportunity to earn more.
The wrinkle, relative to previous reports, is that non-guaranteed fourth year. Turner also reports a lack of interest from the Blazers in Odom, something that jibes with what I sensed Friday night in a very brief conversation with Portland GM Kevin Pritchard, and from LO for moving north. That leaves LA and Miami as the two main players in this free agency drama, with the number of acts still to be determined.
Given that the Heat can only guarantee just under five mil more than the Lakers offered (requiring two more years of work), the financial sweetener from Pat Riley and Co. isn't overwhelming, or even regular whelming. In my mind, that favors a return to LA for LO, even if the terms aren't reflective of his hopes when the process started.
I can't imagine any of this will make anxious fans feel any better about the situation, so as a distraction I'm providing this old-school-by-definition Atari commercial featuring the completely logical combination of Carol Channing and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I live to give. Click below for a trip down memory lane, assuming you're of the applicable generation.