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Lamar Odom and Miami inching closer?

July 25, 2009 |  5:49 pm

Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Lamar Odom could be close to signing the Miami Heat's long-standing full mid-level exception offer.  While it's important to note that no decision has been made, those in AW's ear hint that a return to South Beach could very well be in the cards.

      Odom has not reached a final decision, the sources said, but there is growing belief he will ultimately return to the Heat unless the Lakers improve their current offer.  “It’s close, but it’s not done,” said one source.

Without question, that language feels like it was floated by members of "Team LO" as a means of applying some (pun intended) heat on Lamar's most recent employers.  Not that Lamar can't possibly be mulling a return to South Beach, but the mere hint of an ultimatum does feel like a shot lobbed across the Lakers' bow.  But it doesn't feel like a direct hit sinking the ship, so for the time being, I'm not abandoning ship when it comes to hopes of Lamar remaining a Laker.

I was, however, a little concerned over the detail there Dr. Buss is lowering his offer (which gibes with LAT predictions upon the resumed talks).  As BK noted in the now iconic "Kitten" post, Doc B.'s pride needs to remain in check as well.  Getting upset that Team LO fielded offers from other teams while failing to return calls over his own is understandable, but there's a bigger picture involved.  Just as it would be silly for Lamar to sacrifice a better winning potential over money that- in the grand scheme of things- shouldn't make a dent in his long-time security, it would be equally silly for Dr. Buss to sacrifice championship potential to remind folks that nobody crosses him.  If it made sense and was fair to (reportedly) offer LO 3/30 or a partially guaranteed 4/36 a couple weeks ago, it makes sense and is fair now.