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Lamar Odom, on contract negotiations with the Lakers

I caught up with Lamar Odom at a screening for the 2008-2009 NBA Champions: The Los Angeles Lakers DVD.  With talk swirling over Mitch Kupchak's comments to the O.C. Register about being "not as hopeful" as last week LO will be re-signed (pessimism similar to what was expressed to the L.A. Times' Broderick Turner), I wanted to get Lamar's perspective.  While more serious than usual, he gave me (and the Daily News' Ramona Shelburne) the impression that he's not ready to turn the page on his Laker story book.

During our conversation, it felt like Lamar was trying to remain as detached as possible from the process.  He continually reminded me that business isn't personal and often requires a lot of discussion before everyone is satisfied.  "No one says it's going to 100% your way... or their way," noted LO.  

I definitely sensed Odom's frustration that a deal hasn't been hammered out and he'd still be making a case for himself, but at the same time, he also didn't seem thrown for a complete loop.  After all, Odom runs businesses, so these aren't exactly uncharted waters.  Beyond that, this also isn't his experience working out a free agent deal.  His agent (Jeff Schwartz) may be growing emotional, but LO is at least attempting to keep his blood lower than a boil.  "It is what it is" was a continual refrain. 

"We try to do what's best for both sides," said Odom.  "What's fair.  That's what negotiating is about.  It doesn't happen all the time overnight."  Plus, no two ways around it: Money is just a touchy subject.  "You can have a brother, a sister, a great father, but then when you start talking about money, it gets a little, like.... ehhhhhh.  You know what I mean?"

Despite the obvious complications, I'm still reasonably "hopeful" (to use the official "Phrase of the Day") an agreement will be reached.  Beyond few options for comparable (much less better) money and/or situations than with the Lakers, they really can't afford to let Odom go. The veteran's minimum won't fetch anyone with even close to the same skill set.  And with all due respect to Josh Powell, the team's mojo decreases considerably with him taking LO's place either as the first big off the bench or- gulp!- the starting four if Andrew Bynum's bad luck with injuries continue.  Yes, trading is an option, but who's available that could make an impact and at what price?  Retaining LO is simpler and more sensible.  Not to mention what I think Lamar prefers, all things being equal.  (Plus, the interview room's lighting was purple. That's gotta mean something, right?)

I've also got some copy with Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar and Luke Walton, but I wanted to get LO's video up ASAP.

AK

 
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"I know, I know, this time it's ... serious."

(Morrissey/Girlfriend in a Coma)

nice work getting that vid! Hopeful here.

Champions again in 2010.

Very nice footage, AK, great job.

LO comes across more nuanced -- deeper, I guess, and introspective -- than I have every previously pictured him. often I saw him as confused about his own thoughts and feelings, but here it almost seems as if he has spent some time untangling them and even now has insight into what he thinks and why. It was good that he stayed inside for the apst few weeks!

I have always been sympathetic towards him, but this person he is presenting now is different. He strikes me as a substantial person who would be really nice at a personal level to know. And his maturity and balance is impressive.

And, of course, it is good to seem him have a solid perspective on the business element of the negotiations. Not personal and he isn't taking it that way -- unfortunately, that also means he will feel no necessary loyalty to stay with LA if it comes down to business.

This interview really made me emotional, I guess I just really forgot how Odom was. I really hope the Lakers resign him and give him the 10 mill that he deserves.

Way to get the horse's mouth to speak finally!

Just pull the trigger already Lamar and let's get back to the business of winning championships. 9 million isn't enough?! It makes me question his motivation. A lot of what I'm hearing is all about business, business, business. Not a lot of other free agents are getting 9 mil a year offers.

Do it!

Come on Odom. You said that you want to be a Laker and that you would be willing to take a pay cut. Yet, given our cap space and the economy, we offer you a more than fair offer and yet your still frustrated? I understand that the NBA is a business and that you need to take care of yourself, but the Lakers have made you a very fair offer which you won't see anywhere else.

one more thought, I think he doesn't go out too much because he is scared of the emotional response he will get from the fans. Not scared in a sense like "omg their going to attack me" but scared in a sense that he will get attached and stray away from good "judgment". At the end of the video I could tell he was getting really emotional because the fans in LA embraced him so openly. I seriously think he will go out once a deal is set on the table, lol.


I REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLY HOPE HE COMES BACK.


I love u lamar, so does LA.


This negotiation between LO and Lakers have dragged on too long. A real estate agent noce told me that a house is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. Right now, there is no other team that can offer LO more than the Lakers' offer I really think 8 mil per year is fair for LO in current economy. People are losing jobs left and right and that new caps and luxury tax threshhold don't help either.

LO, when you played brilliantly in the finals, I seemed to forget those games when you were not so "consistent".

Come back, LO, and be reasonable. .


So close yet so far away.

It will get done. A mill apart is nothin' after taxes.

5 years is the number holdin' it up. If LO bolts for the security of a long term deal, understandable He's peakin' now, time to cash in for tomorrow.

oh. snap.

not the sort of news i wanted to see. every time i go on espn or the laker websites, i hope to see "lamar odom re-signs with lakers" already. now this. i'm going nuts.

The Lakers sold the draft picks for ~6 million. Signing Ron Artest, they did not use any of that. Why can't they take out ~2 million more for Lamar next year? Winning a championship and getting a pay cut, (10 million is already a pay cut for him), is that enough for a core player?

Ain't no one in the league that can replace LO's locker room presence.

R you all freaking kidding me? I'm so sick of LO - dump his ass already!! Let him go - I don't even want to see him in a dang Laker uniform!! Let's get players who want to be Lakers. They are giving him more than a fair deal - sign or get the hell out!!!!

C'mon Lamar. You're boiling it down to a simple paycheck? If the Lakers can offer you 1 million a story, and no other newspaper can pay that much, what's the problem? What if you're a brilliant writer but only manage to put together brilliance on every other page? Take the 9 million already!!

I just can't believe how many people wanted to trade his lazy azz - FOR Artest. Now we got Artest and peopel are begging to keep this inconsistent loser for nearly 9 million/year?!?!? OMFG!!!!!

I can't read his mind but in his own words - he is comparing himself to other players - what they get paid so you know where you fall. Well - freaking Luke and Sasha's contracts come to mind!!! He is comparing his worth - to their worth and their contracts. SO - those contracts DO matter!!!!

All these athletes are overpaid crybabies - unbelievable that while people are getting laid off - California is writing IOUs - we are wasting our time begging for the Lakers to pay this guy 9 million dollars!!!

I just can't believe how many people wanted to trade his lazy azz - FOR Artest. Now we got Artest and peopel are begging to keep this inconsistent loser for nearly 9 million/year?!?!? OMFG!!!!!

I can't read his mind but in his own words - he is comparing himself to other players - what they get paid so you know where you fall. Well - freaking Luke and Sasha's contracts come to mind!!! He is comparing his worth - to their worth and their contracts. SO - those contracts DO matter!!!!

All these athletes are overpaid crybabies - unbelievable that while people are getting laid off - California is writing IOUs - we are wasting our time begging for the Lakers to pay this guy 9 million dollars!!!

good job, AK. nice advocate/interview...

What the F, Lamar.

You can't buy food for your children on $9 million a year?

Who does that remind you of?

If Lamar leave because he wants more, more more, what a greedy SOB he has turned out to be.

All this time wasted (except this year somewhat) on a head case and inconsistent not-living-to-your potential he has always been.

The fact that Lamar Odom is a head case - being an air-head, attention-deficit, inconsistent, not-living to his potential, lacking competitive drive, no leadership skills, non-crunch time player is why other teams are NOT making offers to Lamar Odom.

Lamar fits well with the Lakers, who have other players who can make up the deficit when he does not play well.

Face it, Lamar, your track record of not living up to your potential, not coming to play day-in and day-out is coming back to haunt you.

So take the damn Laker offer. Sign on the dotted lot.

If Lamar isn't signing, perhaps it is his agent who is being the greedy one

Mi hombre por favor firmas la contrata!
NO LO = NO Repeat!

NICE EXCLUSIVE !!! YOU ROCK AK !!!!

That said, LO may be a master negotiator, but he sucks as a Laker. For us fans, it isn't all business. But, for LO it seems to be nothing more.

I appreciate the importance of negotiation. And he said, "You want to relive that dream." But his "buy a story" analogy had no attachment to one way or another (not caring about the Lakers).

When AK asked, "You had talked so much throughout the year about staying here, are you still excited about being a laker?" LO started about "the situations around the league aren't that different for anyone." This implies that if there were more money elsewhere he'd bolt. He mentioned his legacy, but . . . no enthusiasm for the lakers came through.

Was this interview totally spontaneous or something LO wanted out there? If this was planned, it is a negotiating ploy. And, it tells the Lakers "I am listening, make me an offer." I am afraid it is more spontaneous. That means he really is just being honest when he indicates that it is all about rounding off the digits and he doesn't care about being a Laker or what team he is on.

Like he said, business between family can mess things up. And, as a part of the Laker family, my feelings are singed. LO even puts money "completely separate" from playing with Ron. NOTE TO LEAGUE: if you offer LO more money he'd be gone in a heartbeat. He has no sentimentality about any one or any thing; its all about the dollars.

His response about price, "Nothings been done to embarrass me or discredit me" gives away the cards to say he could be gotten for just a bit more money. For the team's strength, I hope they give it to him. But, if we could get someone better, this hurt fan says, I have as little emotional interest in keeping LO as he does about remaining a Laker.

GOOOooOOOO LAKERS (with or without Lamar "nothing personal" Odom)

I don't know what to think about these Lamar rumors. Has he really turned down a 3 year deal starting above 9 million per?

"The Times has reported that Odom and his agent, Jeff Schwartz, are seeking $10 million a season. The Lakers have offered Odom a deal north of $9 million a season for the first three years.

Odom and Schwartz are seeking more money and years.

"I can't discuss that," said Odom, who attended a screening party Monday night for the DVD featuring the Lakers' 2008-09 championship run. "You talk about money, it's touchy. It's a touchy subject.

"The Lakers have been too good to me to rub people over there the wrong way. The Lakers have been nothing but great to me, and I want to keep the relationship great."

Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who improved on his offer of $8 million a season to Odom, is getting frustrated and is thinking about pulling the deal off the table soon."

I guess he wants a 5 year deal and the Lakers are offering 3. Maybe if he comes down a bit from 10 million a year we can go past 3 years.

When Portland comes across with a 5 year 50 mil deal for Odom, he's as good as gone.

Wes

Lamar's language is scaring me:

``It's crazy because if you think about my career and playing basketball and somebody trying to do all the things to help a team win a championship, I felt like I've done that you know,'' he said. ``But it'll pay off. It'll pay off.''

It'll pay, it'll pay. Pay, pay, pay, pay, pay.

What's on Lamar's mind?

Payday? Both kinds...

Wes

Dang!! Doesnt sound very promising!!! This L.O thing is driving me crazy!!!!

Is it to early to start talking sign and trade?...

I hope not,but it may be heading down that path.....

who would have thought it would have come down to this?..

let's not be so hasty now to jump all over lamar's back or demand him to take whatever is on the table right now. all we know is that the number that was offered to Lamar was somewhere (a little) over 8 million per. last season he made 12 million per. so, yes, Robert was correct. the 10 million that Lamar was reported to have been seeking would be a pay cut. (which was something Kobe and Trevor refused/decided not to do)

i think some people are failing to realize Lamar's worth to the Lakers. i think if he bolts, that seriously threatens their chances to repeat. with him in the line-up, they are favorites to repeat. AK really hit the nail on the head when he stated the major reason LO must be resigned is that the Lakers have no other options (due to the salary cap) to go and sign any other free agent that is anywhere near the level of LO. honestly, it looks like Lamar has a very big hand. even if other teams can't afford to offer more, doesn't necessarily mean he has to take whatever LA offer him. he can always sign a one year deal with whatever club, and test the market again next year. or he can go play in Europe. or take the year off and just go fishing with the kids. whatever.

so, i think it's in the Lakers absolute best interest to resign him, and if it means going up to 9 million or 9.5 or even 10, they shold do so. (although as a rational person, i believe both sides should find a middle ground and compromise, at say 9 million per... and maybe throw in a few incentives) but what do i know? i'm no Mitch Kupchak!

Man, i am dissappointed to read this update on Lamar and I am getting a feeling we are going to lose him...That sux majorly! If Mitch isn't as optimistic, then why should I be??

Some things that seem sooooooo very simple never really is in actuality.....

Considering Lamar's history in the NBA, the position taken by Odom and his agent is insane. Do you think there might be a reason the disappointed Clippers shipped him to the Heat for a season before he ended up on the Lakers. No one is after Lamar because he has a history of inconsistency. He proved he wasn't a #1 or a #2 option. He proved his highest value is coming off the bench.

The Lakers' current offer north of $9M a year is a solid offer. The rub, he wants more than 3 years. Four years from now will he still be worth $9M? Who knows. If he is, someone will pay it. If he's not, why would the Lakers want to be stuck with an extended commitment? Prove yourself, Lamar. All of us are only as good as our last performance. Sorry.

All that said, I want Lamar to return. He's shown he can contribute when motivated, as he did in the Playoffs. His contribution to team chemistry is unquestioned.

If Mitch gets so frustrated that he pulls the offer, so be it. Mitch has shown us that he has matured into a GM who knows how to get done what the team needs. If Lamar would rather play a season in Europe than remain a Laker, I'm sure he can make good money over there. But getting a deal done now is what's best for both sides. Lamar and his agent need to back off. But if they don't, it's not the end of the world.

Lakers offered Lamar 9 million per for 3 years. He wants a 5 year deal at 10 per. That's not close. Now he's said to be talking to Miami who can offer only the MLE, but give him the 5 years he craves. So he'll take less money (36 vs approx 33) to leave the Lakers. Sounds like the Ariza situation all over again.

It's time to say goodbye to Lamar. His occasionally excellent play, mixed with frequent disappearances and periods of general aloofness are not worth 50 million. We have to resign Pau in a couple of years. I like Lamar and hope he does well wherever he goes, but I'm done expecting the Lakers to overpay.

This is all about money! Lamar has close to $28M for 3 years on the table and 3 potentail NBA chmapionship. Miami is offering him $34M for 5 years. if lakers match that for another 6 mil 2 more years, he will net $3M for playing 2 more years and no championships in miami. give me a break. He was overpaid at $14M a year for last few years for the performance he showed during most games. He better get off his bottom and be grateful to Dr. Buss. His agent is definitely is not helping things. Look what happened to Ariza. I would take 3 years in LA to 5 in Miami or anywhere in the world! geeeeeez man

The New Lamar Anthem

I will be a Laker playa
When I'm a bigga millionaire-a
Were just 2 mil away
dodo dodo dodo

But 5 years is what I need-a
Cause I smoke alot of weed-a
If I only had a brain

This should have been done soon-a
But my agent's playin it cool-a
Like when Bynum got his pay
dodo dodo dodo

Yes he's sharp as a razor
But I don't want to be a Blazer
My god I must be insane.

Miami would be betta
I know the beaches there-a
And D-Wade's got some game
dodo dodo dodo

I could sleep away the season
And steal a few more millions
Who said I had no brain?

are you people crazy?! he was willing to take a 30% pay cut, but they offered him 50%. how many of you would be willing to take a 50% pay cut after you have just help your boss secure the biggest account/project/whatever? and he was injured and still played his heart out the whole playoff.

not to mention that andrew bynum is getting $12.5mil? and adam morrison at $5mil? what for?! omg! really?!

did someone forget to give mitch kupchak his medication again? he was doing so well the last couple of years!

Lamar, I'll tell you what's fair:

8 millions per year, cutting the stubborness over 1-2 millions (you are rich, jesus christ, don't be an ass), a shot at repeating.

Or rotting in the Nowheresville Nobodiers like Trevor.

Either one of those is fair. Pick your poison.

After all he did for lakers I can't understand people here asking Lamar to take pay cut. If he has better offer (and I don't think he does) he should take it. LA has been ungrateful.
Why don't you ask Kobe to take pay cut ? He couldve opt out and take less money. Next year half of salary cap will go to KObe.
LA low balled Trevor Ariza and now is doing same with lamar.

Lamar has no options. Either he signs for the money the Lakers are offering or he gets less elsewhere. Artest is here, the beach is here, the rings are here. IMO the Lakers are being too generous.

They are not going to bid against themselves and will just wait patiently until all the BS goes by the wayside. There just isn't another situation in the same ballpark as this one for LO, and he will have to take less money than is being offered to boot. LO will be a Laker next season one way or the other, so I hope everyone just enjoys their summer!

I was afraid this was going to happen. Things have been feeling a tad ominous to me since late last week. So, from a numbers standpoint, it seems like LO and his agent are most likely at $10M for 5 yrs, total $50M, whereas the Lakers are probably now at $9M for 3 yrs, total $27M, which doesn't seem like that much of a difference at first glance. All of this, of course, is subject to the luxury tax and very likely will be for the entire length of the contract. What this means, to me, at least, is that Dr. Buss and Mitch probably see the real gap in the negotiations as $54M over three versus $100M over 5 years in actual dollars spent for LO. That is real money, even is 1 lousy million a year isn't real money (to all of us it is, but you know what I mean).

I would assume that, given Dr. Buss' historical reluctance with paying the luxury tax, the Lakers are probably willing to suck it up for a few years with the hope of winning a couple more rings and catching Boston at 17 (which is important to Dr. Buss, by all accounts), but are not willing to do it forever. I don't believe that Dr. Buss has a ton of income from other sources, so he's not going to let the Lakers ride along "in the red" for very long, if at all, and I'm sure he has every intention of pairing down the salaries towards the end of Kobe's contract. If we assume that Kobe will go another 5 years at between $23M - $30M (2 signed plus 3 in extension), Bynum's here for I think 5 at I between $12M and $15M, Artest at about $6 per for 5, and probably Pau at around $16M and $20M per (who will get an extension for 3 - 5 years I think next year), the Lakers will have over $70M tied up every year for the next 5 years, or $350M total, just for those four guys. Throw in another $10M per / $50M total, plus another $10M per / $50M total in luxury tax for LO, and I bet Dr. Buss is choking on his oatmeal at the thought. And in years 4 and 5, we're lookng at a 35-36 year old Kobe (who will most likely still be his great self and will surely retire as a Laker), but also a 34-35 year old Artest and a 34-35 year old Odom. The odds are that all of those guys aren't going to still be healthy and great that late in their careers, but the Lakers won't be able to reload until the expiring contracts come around in 5 year at least. Having $44M less committed to LO is probably very attractive to management when you think about it from that perspective. Someone correct me if any of my facts are wrong.

All of that having been said, I still believe that LO is key to the Lakers championship hopes, so they better sign him. I'd take a year or two of salary cap hell to win 2 or 3 more rings. Wouldn't you?

Hey Kobe didn't opt out of his contract n settle for less money. Ariza got paid in Houston. I can see where Lamar is thinkin why shouldn't I get paid as welll.

Not to mention the Lakers already got a sweet deal on Ron Artest's contract. I don't blame Lamar Odom. He is the x-factor on the Lakers squad. If they don't want to pay him then they'll lose their edge.

Seriously, 7 million was 5.8 of his market value + 1.2 as a gift from the Lakers.

He balked.

We upped it to "just north of 8"

So now he's getting his 5.8 market value + 2.2 as a gift and this is STILL not enough for him??

If he didn't like these numbers, maybe.... just maybe he should have worked on his game in any one of the last 5 summers. If he did that, maybe he'd be looking at a legit $10 million offer.

Lamat is one of my favorite Lakers. I would be crushed if he does not sign.

But, he is getting under Jerry's skin the same as Shaq and Ariza! If he does not take this offer then he is disengenuous when he says he wants to stay. The ball is all the way in his court, under his nose.

According to the LAT:

Jerry has done his part by upping the offer from 8 to 9+M, 3 years.

Miami 'may' be offering 7-M, 5 years, with Wade not signed yet.

Some people here probably insane or at least acts like ones. 10M it’s pay cut??? From what, 14M he is making last season? So what? Did he play like 14M player? Marbury was making recently from Knicks 21M and not even playing, should we also take this into consideration too? Contract negotiations it’s 2 way street, with both sides making baby steps toward finding common ground, it seems to me so far Lakers covered 90% of this distance. LO needs to decide for him, what does he wants to do? If it’s money, no one on the market offering more, I mean per year. If it’s about respect, Lakers show him plenty through all his years of inconsistency, dumb plays and underperformance. He wants to leave? Just say the word… And please, please, don’t bring again and again Luke or Sasha’s contract into this, different time, different economy, different negotiation.

Wes,
10M x 5 Years is a lot of money in this economy. I would be very surprised if Portland commits for this long.

Unless you are on the cusp of a championship, and he signs for 3 years, Lamar is not worth this amount.

We are the Championship team. With 9M to give, we can wait until the season starts, things settle, see where we need shoring things up, and then bring in a killer replacement to Lamar.

Jerry's offer is fair and generous. I want Lamr to stay.

Baywood

Chris,

You are worng, check the sources, Ariza actally got less money from Houston than he had on the table from Lakers, check your sources

What the hell is the negotiating point for Jeff Schwartz? Isn't it only that Lamar is worth this much because of loyalty, what he's done for you, and what he's worth?

I got news for him: loyalty and what he's done for the Lakers have both been satisfied with Lamar's last contract which was over-inflated compared to his actual contribution for his time as a Laker.

What he's worth now is covered by the Lakers' offer which if it's over 6 million is the most anyone can offer him except maybe Portland, and if it's close to or over $9M as has been reported in some outlets, it's by far better than any other team can give him.

If his agent wants a sign and trade, I say it better be a doozy that helps the Lakers more than the other team. Otherwise, I say screw him and let his agent pull an Ariza and go play for another team for less. In the end it only hurts Odom, and if he lets his agent do that, he deserves whatever consequences he gets.

Rick Friedman

, I think you're wrong. I like and trust Mitch but Mitch can't play power forward or help win a SHIP without the pieces.

The Lakers don't have any choice but to sign Odom or play this season with less talent than last yr. You can't ask Kobe to turn it up a notch at 1 yr older. Pau is playing more Euro ball this summer which is wear and tear. You never know when Andrew will be healthy. We need Odom if we gone be in the mix come next June. Odom needs to compromise off the 5 yr - 50 million.
Buss has come up to 9 million which is very fair.
I think 4 yrs should seal the deal or give Odom a early termination clause like after 3 yrs.
Make year 4 a team option or a player option for 7.5 million.

Odom can get mad and play for less somewhere else. The Lakers can get mad and have less talent.
This just has to happen. If Odom or Buss pull from negotiations then as a Laker Nation they have let us down. NO EXCUSES, WE GOTTA GO WHIP BOSTON's BEHIND.

Lamar is a favorite of this blog. Always getting a lot of patience, appreciation, and love.

The Blogs majority have decided, justly, that the Lakers have made a fair and reasonable offer.

I hope Lamar reads this blog; he should.

Baywood

Wow, a lot of inane comments on here today.

It's a game of chicken right now. Who needs whom more? Lamar won't find more money elsewhere and the Lakers know that. The Lakers won't find another versatile 6'10" forward and Lamar knows that. So who blinks first?

I think money talks and since the Lakers have the most of it, Lamar will blink first. Only if he lets his pride and anger consume him will he wear another uniform next year because he has no other reason to go elsewhere.

Well, if Miami's five year MLE offer looks nice to Odom, I'm sure Buss would GLADLY match that deal, it would save him some money.

Otherwise take the gift the Lakers are offering... while Buss is still on Tilt here.

And the argument about taking a pay cut...

I wish my income was *only down %50.. and the Lakers aren't even cutting his salary that much.

And to compare his output to others and looking at their pay scale to "see where you fall" is fallacious...

My neighbor's home sold for $1,000,000.... 3 years ago at the height of the market. Does this mean my home is worth that much?

Get the hell outta here. He's lucky that Buss is very giving and that fans will put up with a lot, because otherwise, he'd be on the street right now kicked to the curb scrounging for MLE's around the league.

And what's this talk about Kobe? 1. He's not up for contract renewal, Lamar is. 2. Even if Kobe was up for contract renewal, he's the one guy that pays the bills... meaning, he fills the seats and generates a lot of money.

Lamar is in a totally different situation, so comparing the two is truly a false analogy

9 million is enough.

3 years is enough.

and if lamar doesn't take the offer, i've had enough.

good luck lamar.

Some thinking... With Wade on the fence, LO got be insane to even consider Miami, with Wade gone he'll be in the same position as ariza in Houston - no Yao, no TMac, no playoffs

and if lamar was smart enough, he would know that after a 3 year, 9 million per season contract with the lakers - he can still get the MLE with the lakers or another team...

People didn't fill the seats around the league to watch Mychael Thompson or Bob Macadoo... they came to watch Magic Johnson and Kareem.

Likewise today, they show up to watch Kobe and Pau.

Lamar is completely NUTS if he rejects a $9 million dollar offer... seriously, he cannot and will not get that sort of money EVER, for the rest of his career, anywhere

If he thinks he can, good luck - but wow, his stupidity will finally break the hearts of Laker fans for good

I'm torn.

I'm all out of faith. This is how I feel. Deeeer neeeeer (that's my guitar solo).

I would go 5 years with Lamar. I really would.

But, if we sign him we'll be some 20-30 million over the cap. That's a big, big number.


So big, in fact, we're probably going to lose him unless we do a sign and trade. But who in the NBA (that we can trade Lamar for) would we want to pay 10 million a year?

I can think of no one.

Question is, do we start to look into Bynum trades? It may be time.

Wes

If he's really this stubborn, maybe we should do a S&T with Miami and get Beasley. The Lakers do have a trade exception... but I'd bet it would still take a multi-team deal to make it worth our time, since we'd have to get so much salary back (even with the exception)

LO for Tyrus Thomas,(etc.) would be nice.

LO's agent is doing the required work for his client. The media has talked about a figure between 6 and 10 million with 8 probably being the end result. And now we hear it's probably at 9+. Waiting is paying off. Also Dallas doesn't get Gortat from Orlando and could be willing to make LO an offer. I am still hopeful because no one has overreacted or become over emotional.

If Lamar doesn't sign a $9 million contract within like a day, I'd pull the offer and and make a new offer.

$7 million per year, five years, player option at years 3 and 4.

That's about the best offer he's going to get anywhere else. It's getting close to time to put this punishment/incentive to work. The offer isn't going up and can only go down.

Kudos to AK on a great interview. Your line of questioning got to the heart of the matter without being too "in your face".

Frankly, LO's responses came across as scripted to me. He seemed to pause and sputter at the beginning, as if he was trying to remember his lines and where to pick up in the dialogue.

His detached affect seemed to be rehearsed polish, professionalism, and surface maturity. He came across as "lawyered-up" to me. The lovable, enthusiastic kid buried under a layer of strategic coolness.

SIgn and trade him to Miami for Michael Beasley and James Jones.

Odom no one is gonna offer you more than what the lakers is offering, no one has showed you more patience than the Lakers have, stop thinking with Candies on your bald head and accept the offer, think of all the starving people around the world and think of how lucky you are getting offered 8 to 9 million a year to play basketball!!!! and you still have to think about it!!!!! Geeez no wonder the world is going thru a recession its greed greed greed everywear.

Go Lakers always and Forever

Lamar made 11 M last season. The 14 M is what counted against the salary cap, because of a "trade kicker" when he came to the Lakers. So the "pay cut" is not as big as some of you think.

I say pay Lamar his money, pay the luxury tax, and let Lakerfans live happily ever after.

Lamar is far from an MLE player. A fair deal for him would start at 10 million per. If I'm Jerry Buss, and I've got a couple hundred million dollars in the bank, a champion goldmine Laker team, and the opportunity to win multiple championships, it's an easy decision.

Pay Lamar what he's worth. He's earned it.

Go Lakers!

Maybe we can meet 1/2 way, no?

4 years 40 million?

Actually, in this economy, that is too much for a role player. Lamar should really be ashamed of himself. He's asking for a king's ransom in an environment where EVEN fans with tickets can't attend games because of a lack of gas money (see Ira Harrison).

I'm not saying he should settle for less than 5 years, I'm just saying that if he wants a long-term deal he has to be reasonable. Honestly, if Lamar takes less money to have more years in Miami I will laugh my butt off. Chicken with head cut off is what I see.

How rational does Artest seem now? Huh? All you Artest haters, what do you think about his attitude vs Lamar's? Lamar wants all money his hands can grab, whereas Artest just wants to be part of a championship team. Big, big, big difference.

Give me the odd, not so money-hungry player over the "grabber" any day.

Lamar's new nickname?

The Grabber? Stickyfingers? Peach Dummy Rings?

Wes

The more we talk and negotiate, the more the dangers created that may be misinterpreted. Let's be FIRM. If Lakers F/O thinks to jumpstart it to 8.5M which is north of previous offer 7M. 8.5M is $17M on Lakers payroll. He could go for 3 years with player options for two successive years.

In a nutshell, it is not about LO that brought us to Championship, it is not about Bynum premature extension or Luke's long contract. It is about LUXURY TAXES, it is about the prevailing ECONOMY, it is about the disappearing PROFIT to make it a feasible business b/c total payroll is approaching in the vicinity of $110M. In other words, it is LO's decision if he wants to go to another team or try again next year or two years from now. ( This is like your daughter asking for $ 30K to fund her wedding. As a parent you want to please a daughter but you just lost 50% in your 401-K, so you set the mark at $ 20K. You tell your daughter, "I love you and value your happiness which is also our happiness on a beautiful wedding but I can only spare 20K, therefore set ur sights within that parameter, come back to me when my 401-K improves, perhaps I can help u in your down payment on your future home." In essence, What I'm saying here, everyone has their own priorities in optimizing a meager budget at given time, stick with that plan.)

.

The Lakers do have a choice - a healthy Bynum makes Odom a luxury, not a "necessity." Artest gives them more flexibility in that area, because he can play some PF.

Of course, LO knew he would face a lot of questions and it would, therefore, be normal for him to think through his answers in advance.

I think what bothered me the most in the interview, what came across as the most scripted (and poorly acted), was his brief descent into self-pity, when he talked about all that work over the years. He then seemed to feign a recovery, reassuring or soothing himself by saying it would surely pay off one day. Perhaps the Lakers would finally appreciate him and come to their senses.

As valuable a component as he is to the Lakers, the truth remains that LO has rarely played to his potential and was overpaid at the Lakers expense for years. To play, however briefly, the noble, mistreated victim still hopeful of his neglectful, ungrateful patron's possible illumination/repentance...well, it seems a little cheesy.

Well - I was going to start with "Good morning CRUE" but after reading this particular headline, it's not a good morning after all.

LO - come on man - sign already. This is stooopid. Take the money & win more rings - isn't that what you want?? To be a Laker for life?? I thought you said something like that somewhere along the way....

The good news is that Kobe said LO's not going anywhere. I certainly hope he, Fish & Thrillah are in LO's ear and making the plea for him to stay.

I truly believe that while Kobe is the key to this team's success, LO is definitely a vital cog in the championship wheel. No cog - no go. Simple.

GET IT DONE LAMAR!!!

I'm losing my hair over here - this stress is going to kill me. Or at the very least, it's going to "bald" me.

I put my full faith in Mitch - he has earned it. I'm going to the beach, and I'll say hi to Lamar when I see him.

In these negotiations, Lakers should be active on both grounds: signing LO and/or finding a suitable replacement. I believe it accelerated the SB negotiations when the name Nate Robinson surfaced in the rumors. Lakers should be active in talking to cellar dweller teams and look at their young players and low draft picks for possible sign and trade scenario. This approach has two fangs: it accelerates the process of negotiation on LO and it prepares the Lakers for LO's replacement.

So, in the end, it IS about the money after all with this generation of NBA players. Damn a legacy. Damn a dynasty. This is "gangsta" hip-hop fused in with big business. I GOTTA GET MINE! That's the mentality.

Puts the Showtime Era Lakers in a whole different perspective. They sacrificed their ego for the sake of building and maintaining a LEGACY. 20-something years later, we say the names MAGIC, KAREEM, WORTHY, COOPER, SCOTT, RAMBIS, NIXON, MCADOO, GREEN. etc. with a sense of AWE and REVERENCE. Because they sacrificed for a greater good...and, in turn, God has granted them individually a taste of individual glory!

SIGN THE FRIGGIN CONTRACT, LO! 9 milli for 3 years ain't bad. Sasha, Ammo & D-Fish will be gone which equals more $$$ for you in the long run!

SIGN THE CONTRACT!

buss has called every raise so far..... and now he's checked on the turn.... if LO raises, buss folds before the river card.... buss will pull the offer off the table and LO will be shipped out (s&t)... friday may be the deadline.... i won't be too mad at either party if the deal can't get done.... all i know is... if you don't want to be here, we don't want you here....

Steve,

"All of that having been said, I still believe that LO is key to the Lakers championship hopes, so they better sign him. I'd take a year or two of salary cap hell to win 2 or 3 more rings. Wouldn't you?"

Yeah, I would.

Wes,

Seriously?

You want to trade a 22 year old franchise center, for an inconsistent 29 year old player?

Bynum, pre-injury, is better than Lamar Odom.

It's time to let Lamar go if he won't take the best offer the Lakers have made. Buss is essentially offering him 18 million for next season, with the additional money being paid back to the league for the lux tax.

I'm serious. Give him his 10 million, then send him to Miami for Michael Beasley and James Jones.

I am becoming increasing frustrated with this talk that it “comes back to Kobe.” A professional athlete has a small window where they have prime earning power. They have to make the most of it, and they ALL do. Kobe puts in the work, and wants every dollar that his performance demands, which the same can be said for Lamar, or any other American working in the private sector. If anything, Dr. Buss, who generated $48 million in revenues from playoff home games alone could eat the cost (that’s not including TV revenue). He’s been making a killing for decades and his family will continue to do so, unlike the athlete who has a much shorter window. Or maybe if we were not over-paying, the under-performing likes of Bynum, Walton, and Sasha we could offered more. – I wish Mitch would have been so hard line in his negotiations there.

My point is that this is not on Kobe, it is a management/ownership decision. They benefit the most financially, from the teaming winning championships, and they have to make the biggest sacrifice/investment to get that done. To ask a guy (Kobe) who has worked his whole life to get to the point where he can earn this type of pay check, for a few years, to sacrifice a penny…I really think is not fair nor the American way. It would be another thing if Buss was struggling, or if Mitch had not overpaid others. The onus falls on them, not Kobe.

Still, they really need to sign my man LO!!!

If LO pulls a Shaq and leaves for less money, I would be very disappointed. You can't compare your former salary with the current economic climate.

Plus, it's $9 million for 3 years. If you take let's say $34 million for 5 years, you almost make that anyways. Let's say they sign you for the mid level for 2 years after the $9 million per year contract is up, you would end making more.

C'mon man. Take it and be part of a legacy.

exhelodrvr,

I just don't trust the 3 knee surgeries to Bynum. Let's not call him injury prone, it's just 3 knee repairs to a big body.

Whatever ends up happening, I do get the feeling that things will come to a head soon.

Lakerbake,

I'd be fine with a 4 year deal. That would be a fair compromise.

What in the Hell !!! is Lamr thinking. He Won Dr Buss is offering him north of 9 million. What more does this guy want. We need him and I can't beleive he is pissing off the Lakers Management. I thoiught this was what he wanted now his agent is going after more. Very Very Very Disapointing. I think Ron ROn needs to have a talk with this guy.

Crzyan

Let's get back to the real world. Jerry Buss deserves a return on his investment.The Lakers are not a charity. It is not JUST a million here, a million there. These players make more money in one game than almost all of us here in one year. Resulting, in higher and higher tickets prices.
Try and take your kids to a game without corporate seats.

I am sick of the greed. Give it a couple of more days Mitch, then let's move on.Let Odom do what he needs to do and the Lakers do what they need to do.
I wonder how many fans would be so patient if it was their bank account they were dolling out.

Moe,

"Kobe puts in the work, and wants every dollar that his performance demands, which the same can be said for Lamar, or any other American working in the private sector. If anything, Dr. Buss, who generated $48 million in revenues from playoff home games alone could eat the cost (that’s not including TV revenue). He’s been making a killing for decades and his family will continue to do so, unlike the athlete who has a much shorter window. Or maybe if we were not over-paying, the under-performing likes of Bynum, Walton, and Sasha we could offered more. – I wish Mitch would have been so hard line in his negotiations there."

Great post. I agree with everything you say, but I still maintain that LO showed bad form (reminiscent of his shooting FT's) when he briefly played the victim card.

Charles,
Personally I agree with that, which is why I thought they should have held off on the big contract to him.

But a healthy Bynum is the only real backup plan.

Good Morning Charles...Good Morning Everyone...

now the Lakers have upped the antey to the plus side of 9 mill and lamar was asking 10 it sure seems like if he had a brain cell in his head that was in workin order at this time he would find a pen and sign the damn contract...

come on Lamar---it is time---right frickin' now


AS ALWAYS, AS EVER, YET ANOTHER GREAT DAY (AND CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON) TO BE A LAKER FAN !!!

GO LAKERS !!!

Come on Lamar. Do you really think that there is a better deal or situation than what we have put on the table? Wow, so much for that "home town discount" you talked about.

It is what it is.

By the way, to all French Laker fans, Happy Bastille Day. I had a blast living in your country for the time I did.

Rocky,
10 M for a third option who doesn't come to camp in shape, doesn't work on his weaknesses, and frequently loses his focus? That is more than he is worth.

If I knew in advance that Bynum was going to get hurt again, then it MIGHT be worth it. But absent that knowledge, it's not.

everyone is beating up on LO but its a business a multi million $ business. You really can't blame LO when the Lakers were not winning LO got all the blame everybody wanted to trade him now that the lakers finaly won one everybody wants him to sign for like 5 mill. I agree that 10 Mill is to much north of 8 is fare. but he likely wants 5 yrs instead of 3. I can't blame him after seeing whats happening to a player like AI right now LO knows he will be the same age as AI and going through the same stuff after a 3 yr contract is up. I think that LO will be a laker next season. Its the season after next that I'm more concerned about

exhelodrvr

Excellent point. We definitely could have paid him (AB) less and make room for others

Lakers offered Lamar 9 million per for 3 years. He wants a 5 year deal at 10 per. That's not close. Now he's said to be talking to Miami who can offer only the MLE, but give him the 5 years he craves. So he'll take less money (36 vs approx 33) to leave the Lakers. Sounds like the Ariza situation all over again.

It's time to say goodbye to Lamar. His occasionally excellent play, mixed with frequent disappearances and periods of general aloofness are not worth 50 million. We have to resign Pau in a couple of years. I like Lamar and hope he does well wherever he goes, but I'm done expecting the Lakers to overpay.

Posted by: KBeat | July 14, 2009 at 05:49 AM
***
KBeat - absolutely! It does sound like Ariza again. (My paraphrase) "I'll show you...I'm going to a non-championship contending team for less money because they'll appreciate me."

- We do need to have the money available to re-sign Pau in a few years.
- Sure, Lamar did play fewer minutes last year coming off the bench, but his career ppg average is only 15.1. (With 8.8 rpg.) There are a lot of guys out there with those numbers signing for less.
- Practically insisting on being the 3rd scoring option, then seeking $10 million a year is not realistic (for most teams) in this market. And, GM's DO NOT want a guy that doesn't want to push his game to the highest level.
- Perhaps not learning a lesson from the Ariza situation, Lamar may be trying to force the Lakers' hand, and the Lakers' cards may be better than his. (Kupchak has proven that he knows what to do to in these situations, especially if he believes he has other options.)
- Not factored into most of the analysis and conversations I've heard/seen about Lamar is the Bynum component. I (along with a lot of other people) have put so much emphasis on LO's contributions because Andrew's production was insignificant after his injury. Drew has shown improvement year-on-year and this season's freak accident stunted, but did eliminate, his growth potential. If/when he's healthy, he can play defense, score, and pull down boards. Assuming we need LO because AB wasn't a factor at the end of the season can be reversed to say we don't need LO because AB's production can make a $10 million dollar sixth man unnecessary.

This whole Lamar thing has got me sick.

I think in this economy that Lamar rejecting 9 million would be crazy.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

I am astounded by the number of people here who think LO is worth this much money. Until he was surrounded by better players, making him AT BEST the third best player on the team, he was a flop. This guy is not a star. Stars can produce when they are the #1 option. LO cannot contribute in a meaningful way unless he is the third or fourth best player on the team, and such a player is not worth $9 million a year. If he balks at that, I'd give him a very short and very public deadline to accept the offer.

His "value" is set by the market and there are simply no other teams willing to pay him this kind of money. The Lakers are bidding against themselves, and have already offered more than they need to. That's fine, as it does show some loyalty to the guy, but for him to reject their upped offer is akin to a spit in the face. Given the history of Buss and Kupchak (see O'Neal & Ariza), I wouldn't be spitting in their faces....

Kobe talking about Dunking on him during his camp.

http://tinyurl.com/d7luqk

3 years 26 million
4 years 31.5 million
5 years 35.5 million

Those would be my offers. The longer the contract, the more risk the Lakers take. If it's length he wants, he needs to compromise on the dollar value per year. Or he can accept an incentive laden contract where he can make $10 million if he reaches certain goals. But just flat out demanding something that he couldn't fetch on the open market can't end in good things for anyone.

For those of you who were wondering why Lamar held out
for so long, now it should be clear.

Now the Lakers no longer have an MLE to spend, and there
are no other quality free agents left.

It's hardball by both sides of the table. Lakers don't have any
other quality options. Lamar doesn't have any other quality
options.

It may be just me, but 3 years at 9 million is a TON of money.
For Lamar to turn that down is just plain greedy.

For you people whining that the Lakers should just "pay him
what he's worth", 9 million is MORE than what he's worth.

There isn't some pre-defined price list based on what you've
done so far in the league. What a player is worth is precisely
the most that any team will offer him. NO team other than the
Lakers has offered Lamar 10 million per, or even 8 million per.
If some team had offered Lamar 8 million per, we'd have heard
about it.

Someone mentioned Latrell Sprewell. Perfect example.

This is a perfect case of a free agent getting his head swelled
and thinking he's worth more than he's being offered.

There are a lot of teams who would love to have Lamar...
for MLE level money. Only one team has offered him 9 million,
and he's sneering at it like a greedy bastard.

My opinion of Lamar has fallen.

If they sign and trade him, I hope they get someone good.

The problem is, he seems to think that he can get 10 million
from some other team in a sign and trade. But I doubt any
team is willing to pay him 10 million per, unless the trade
means they can dump off 10 million worth of garbage
overpaid players on the Lakers.

Sure, Miami would like to have him. And Dallas. And Cleveland.
and maybe Chicago. But I doubt ANY of those teams would
be willing to give up a quality player AND pay Lamar 10 million.
I just don't see it happening.

And the Lakers aren't going to agree to take on 8 million
worth of crappy contracts just to let Lamar get paid 10 million
to play somewhere else.

The only scenario I can see that has any likelyhood of S&T
would be Portland. And even them, I doubt they'd be willing
to go 10 million for 5 years, like Lamar wants. But at least they
have lots of quality role players, and they have cap space so
it could be a lopsided trade. So they could offer Travis Outlaw
and a draft pick. Or Rudy Fernandez & a draft pick. Then
at least the Lakers would be compensated for losing Lamar.

Okay, here's my offer to the Blazers:

Lakers S&T Lamar (overpaid at 10 mil per) + you take on
the bloated contract of Sasha Vujacic.

Portland sends back Rudy Fernandez and your choice of either
Travis Outlaw or Joel Przybilla.

Jerry Buss needs to pull out the checkbook and get this done. The longer the two sides bicker the less likely it gets. If Odom goes, who will we get to replace him?

They already lost Ariza for no good reason. Remember, we just won a championship???

LO needs to develop a jump shot too. His Clifford Robinson type frame won't be able to do much as he ages and the hops won't be there.

Lamar and his agent need to learn from the mistakes of Trevor Ariza and his agent. The Lakers have increased their initial offer from $8 mill to $9 mill and he was looking for around $10 mil. Buss is a fair owner and will do his best to reward loyalty. I think another championship is worth taking $9 mill LO. Do be stupid for $1 mill. Look at Ariza.

Anyone who eats 6 pounds of candy a day is a retard so why does it shock everyone that he is acting this way. This BS about taking a pay cut is nonsense. No way he was worth what he got paid last year. Not even 6th man of the year. Just like Ariza he will be average on another team. He is a third option guy that only plays to the level he feels like on any given day. He is not worth 50 mil for that. He is a good fit on the Lakers because of his versatility but he can't carry a team and the other GM's around the league see that or he would already have an offer. Just because other players get overpaid doesn't rationalize overpaying him. Two wrongs don't make a right. You think Portland would really pay him 5o mil? I can't see that making a difference for them. I'm not sure how many other options are left for him. The music is about to stop and he doesn't have a chair. Be smart, don't mess with the Buss Man.

Hey Lamar remember Latrell Spreewell and the choices he made, he ended up retiring bec he could not accept what was being offered to him, learn from the past accept the fair offer the Lakers are making you, or maybe you want to follow trevor ariza who was led out of town by his agent and sign for the same amount with another team. there goes all the "I want to be a Laker...." speeches you made in the past. Stay true to your words and prove that you really want to stay by signing. Or do you think 9 million a year won't buy anything these days.

Lamar is one of my favorite guys on the team. He also seems genuinely nice...
That said, while Lamar is rejecting $9 mil offer, to Buss it is actually an $18 mil offer.... so, if Lamar takes off, that saves the Lakers $18 million....
I love Lamar... but, I am not sure whether he is worth all that... In the end, he should have signed that offer from the Lakers YESTERDAY!!!

Is there a Blu Ray version of the Laker Champ DVD?
Amazon says it is currently unavailable. I need to see the champs in Hi Def!!!!!

http://www.amazon.com/Los-Angeles-Lakers-2009-Champions/dp/B00268DMHC

Let Lamar go and sign Tim Thomas at Vet min he can play 15-20 mins more time for improved Bynum and Artest makes up the rebounds and scoring

 
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