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Like the Facebook status of a girl angry at her boyfriend, free agency, it's complicated

From ESPN.com's Marc Stein in his report from Vegas yesterday evening:

"Reports persist that (Lamar) Odom has been offered deals spanning three and four seasons in length from the Lakers, but that differs sharply from every bankable indication we've received.

The Lakers' best offer to Odom, so far, tops out at $27 million over three seasons. The expectation among rival teams remains that the sides will eventually come to terms."

This dovetails nicely with what I heard ESPN's Ric Bucher say emphatically on 710 ESPN's Mason and Irleand Show Thursday afternoon that the best deal Odom has seen was 3/$27.  The LA Times and Daily News have reported the Lakers offered Lamar Odom a choice between two deals- one for three years at $30 million, a second for four at $36, but Bucher said if the Lakers went that high, we'd all be on vacation.

With Odom still unsigned and report of an offer from Miami and at least the potential for Portland to make a run now that Utah as matched their offer for Paul Millsap, fair to say the contract details above are a pretty important wrinkle.  At least insofar as figuring out where to direct one's ire as a fan. 

It also illustrates how hard it can be to disseminate information these days, given the number of outlets and platforms available.  Information is spread in so many ways (TV, radio, print, web, Twitter, Facebook, smoke signals, carrier pigeon, telegraph... am I missing any?), and as the infrastructure that surrounds players and teams grow, so to do the number of available sources. 

Personally, I tend to gravitate towards local writers when breaking down local teams (in LA or otherwise), and in no way mean to undermine the great work done by our own beat guys at the LAT or writers from competing papers, most of whom I respect a great deal.  On the other hand, while hardly infallible (Bucher's infamous Kobe declarations a couple summers ago being the most obvious example) the writers at ESPN and other large, national outlets are hard working, well sourced, and equally dedicated to getting their stories right. 

Trying to figure out who has the proper information isn't really my point. I'm not in a position to "call out" any of these guys, since they're all deeper in the situation than I am.  Besides, one of the goofier aspects of this job is how two people can report out identical situations, faithfully and properly using reliable sources, cross-checking them... and still come up with different information.  

In this case, both scenarios are believable.  I can buy the notion that Camp Odom (where the food is delicious and the archery program top notch) is pushing for more money than the market will bear, that the Lakers aren't willing to go past three years whether because of financial considerations or worries about how Odom will age, that LO- as he made fairly clear in his vid AK shot earlier in the week- believes he has a certain value and (despite talk of his willingness to take a pay cut) thinks it should be met, and so on.

If he's only being offered three years by the Lakers, it helps make sense of why questions of a mid-level from Miami seem more important and why they'd be hoping to add Portland to the mix in an effort to add a little leverage to their side.  On the other hand, if he left 4/36 on the table without responding, it explains why Dr. Buss would be so annoyed.  

It may not be until after this is all sorted out (I'd still lay odds on Odom coming back) that we know for sure how all this went down.  Maybe we'll never quite know.  But for anxious fans in need of information and clarity, what they get in today's media market, often filled with too much information, may sometimes be worse.

BK

NOTE (7:46 pm)- One thing worth saying, I should have in the post, is that despite the constant updates, Tweeting, web rumors, conflicting reports, and so on, much can still happen that truly does stay in house.  Radio silence doesn't mean nobody is talking.  It might, but it doesn't have to.  Generally speaking, I'd say the less the public knows until things are ironed out and there's news of true consequence to report (in this case, LO is/is not signing with the Lakers), the more likely it is fans will see a happy outcome. BK

 
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You know, RED - maybe it looks good for the Lakers to lose Lamar. Celtics and Lakers are build for believers, and not one Celtic didn't believe that they could win last year - that's why they got so far into the playoffs without two or three big men. With lesser minds, they fold against the Bulls. Same with the Lakers. Losing a weak mind is most definitely a good thing. I'd say that if Lamar signs with the Heat - tough luck for the Heat.

What can we offer Boozer?

Ric Bucher is a terrible reporter with a long history of being wrong.

I wouldn't quote that guy as a reliable source if he paid me.

round em' up Taliq

Otis,

are you kidding me? you have to look at the replacement for odom. ... and we're talking about Josh Powell here. If Bynum plays the same way he did last year and getting into foul trouble comstantly, you think a line up with Powell at PF for 30 mins is going to cut it against the likes of Boston and Cleveland or even Spurs? And even if your claim of Boston plays are strong minded, they only made it to the 2nd round. If Lakers lose LO, they can still make it to the 2nd round but we're talking about championships here. WIthout Odom, there is not ring and thats the bottom line. who cares about western conference champs? I dont. Do you?

LO is right he has a certain value that should be met considering he agreed to come off the bench in a contract year and played a vital role in the championship. Not to mention the other contracts that Lakers have given to lesser players. It has to make him sick to know Bynum will make 12.5 Million to play foul prone minutes, it kills me. On the other hand he needs to realize he does not have many options. I think 40 for 5 years is fair.

Here are some Jerry Maguire quotes to lighten up the afternoon:

http://tinyurl.com/n59pya

I think you will find that a lot of the quotes could easily apply to the Odom/Schwarz scenario. Aside from the classic 'Show me the money', my favorite is:

Jerry Maguire: Have you ever gotten the feeling that you aren't completely embarassed yet, but you glimpse tomorrow's embarrassment?

i still refuse to believe odom won’t re-sign with the lakers, but if he does…

it will be the biggest mistake of his professional career, period.

- he will be on a playoff team that gets knocked out in the first or second round ever year

- he will be counted on to deliver the goods (i.e. scoring) every night, not exactly his strongest suit

- he will become a free agent at age 34, after playing more minutes in miami, meaning he’ll be pretty much done

- he’ll be away from the glamour of los angeles - translation: less endorsement money

- he will go down as another complementary piece to a laker championship, not a critical piece to a laker dynasty

- karma is a b*tch, just ask carlos boozer and elton brand. hell, even ask ronny turiaf!

odom, come back to the light. we still love you. all is forgiven if you just sign on the dotted line!

If Odom comes back, fine.
If not, fine as well.
I've never liked him as player. So, be happy.

It will be a challenge for the team to repeat, for sure. Our margin of error/injury will be minimal.

But it can also be a blessing next off season when we may have a payroll that enables Kupchak to find a good PG to replace Fisher.

Throughout the saga, I've been thinking that Odom is probably factoring in several things, such as...

-Starting vs. non-starting. If someone can convince him he can be a starter on a contender, that may be more appealing than being a bench player on a contender.

-If Socks progresses and avoids freak accidents, just how much PT can LO expect if he stays in LA, especially with Artest joining the fold and giving us a serious defensive/physical boost?

-Something I haven't seen anyone point out in all this is that LO has been in the trade rumor mill almost since the day he got here. That may be a factor in what seems like his lack of loyalty to the Lakers. Couple in what he may regard as a less-than-worth offer, and it may not be a surprise to see him go.

Oh well....just wait and see I guess.

I would offer Boozer anything and everything to STAY AWAY! That dude mislead a blind man so he could get out of Cleveland, then he goes to UtaR and takes games off in about 15 to 20 game blocks, gets VASTLY overpaid for what he produced and is now KILLING UtaR payrollwise until they can unload him to the next sucker. What's the over/under on Boozer playing 50 games next year? I'd put that at 50/50...

Also, who needs an undersized, overpaid PF when we've got Gasol and Bynum? Even if we get Joe Smith or someone else, they'll dominate Boozer. I bet Brian... I mean Sean May, after a little schooling from Kareem would TORCH Boozer for us on national tv, then Boozer would take the next 3 games off to soothe his ego...

Wasn't Ric Bucher the guy that said Kobe is long gone from the Lakers?

Based on the interview with Lamar Odom recently, I'm sure he's the money issue to his agent. If an agent gets a higher commission for the no-brainer higher contract that the Lakers supposedly offered, we wouldn't have the Lamar Watch Summer 2009. He'd already be a Laker.

But then again...Jeff Schwartz might be busting out his best Jerry MacGuire / Rod Tidwell approach right now...and logic doesn't even factor in these talks.

The reality is Odom has not yet met with Dr. Buss and I feel this is the real issue. Dr. Buss deserves a face to face with Lamar as he is his employer. The agent is using delaying tactics to find out how high other clubs might be willing to go. If Odom had sat down with Dr. Buss he most likely would have come to terms or Dr. buss would allow him time to explore his options. I think just as in Trevors case, the agents are putting enmity between the players and the owner.
On the other hand Dr. Buss loves to play poker and although the season is over for the players and coaches, for Dr. Buss this is his personal playoffs.

Odom is a key piece to the Lakers success and I hope they re-sign him but they will still be very good even if they lose him just not as dominating. I heard Buss paid something like 40 million for the Lakers and now they're woth close to a billion so to not give him an extra million or extra year on his contract seems petty and risky when this team with Odom can win several more championships and without him they will even with the rest of the elite. .

What the hell is going on?

Someone cue Led Zeppelin's "Communication Breakdown".

Methinks that's what's going on.

This is beginning to feel like a Shakespearian tragedy.

"You mean you were just FAKING your suicide? Wow. I guess I shouldn't have drunk all this poison after all, then."

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

CS

I agree with some the stuff you are saying but you never know what will happen tmw.

you saying lamar would be done now to sign with the lakers.... thats only true if you think a ring is worth more than 20 mil. you say he should sign 3 years instead of 5.... what if he gets a career ending injury tomorrow? he just lost out on 20 mil.

and the heat made it to the player off with .... no boozer or odom. if they really get boozer and odom, they can be the top 4 teams in the east. maybe even better than orlando now they replaced turk with loser vince.

and he doesnt need to be the closer since wade is there. and the year he played for miami he DID delivery every night and was heat's most consistant player.

what endorsements have he gotten in la? no much. and miami is not a crappy town either.

and you talking about karma... so what about those 3 players? they all got paid. thats why signing a bigger and longer contract is better because you never know what will happen tomorrow.

and there will not be any dynasty without lamar in LA.

odom's agent is just doing his job. he's a good agent. he's gotten a lot of players good contracts. here's a partial list of his clientele: pierce, a. jefferson, t. chandler, josh howard, emeka okafor, jason kidd, korver, villanueva, stackhouse. the dude's no david lee. take his dealings w/jason kidd a week ago as an example. he used new york as leverage, knicks made kidd an offer, then cuban made higher offer to kidd, kidd signs with dallas. that's just how it works. now odom has an offer from the heat, and will likely parlay that into superior offer from lakers. unless buss is as annoyed with odom as has been reported.

I believe we need Lamar to win another championship, but I'm as tired of hearing about his situation as I am about whether or not Brett Favre is going to come back every year...

Lamar Show;

Understood completely, and agreed. I am in favor of Lamar signing with the Lakers and consider him a major cog in the machine. My post was regarding RED posting that it looks bad for the Lakers - and really, it doesn't. Lakers can win with or without Lamar, it would just take growth. But, I'd much rather have LO than lose him. Now listen up: if LO leaves to joint the Heat, what would that say about him? He'll come up short and be happy. Who needs that noise? Not the Lakers - never.

Otis wrote: "Now listen up: if LO leaves to *joint* the Heat, what would that say about him?"

Yeah, that sounds about right, Lamar going to joint the Heat. Or is it heat the Joint? Heh.

If LO comes back to the Lakers,he may not start. With Pau and Artest at forward, he may not play until Pau moves over to center. We may go with 3 forwards at times, with Artest taking a Guard as a defensive assignment, which would work pretty well. LO is dumb if he passes up a chance to dominate the NBA with the Lakers - any other team he'll play for won't be in the playoffs very long, or at all.

>>Camp Odom (where the food is delicious and the archery program top notch)

LOL!

you's two's K Bros are top notch!

plz keep 'em comin'!

Whoah. It's like Rashomon or something....

I think we (me) will all look back on this and utterly and savagely mock all of the people who go into hysterics based on weak third hand gossip that turns out to be completely untrue. Mock mercilessly, i tell you. But they won't get it.

BK, all the love in the world, but I'm not sure what you mean by disseminate. It seems that information is being disseminated all over the place, but finding the truth is most difficult. (yeah, I was going to throw a simile in there, but it would not have gone well)

I Hope we don't lose Lamar but we still have a very good team that can win the championship. I told you before this is a business it is all about the money. Kobe care about the number of rings he get but Travor and Lamer don't.

I have a better chance of playing for the Lakers next year than Carlos Boozer does. Please stop suggesting it people!

Bynum will average a double double, he is now the best center in the West without Yao. Artest is also a guy who can score, he is no Bruce Bowen. He will get 17-19 a game plus rebounds and assists. Then the Lakers will sign some talented veterans to solidify the bench. Then at the deadline trade Farmar/Morrison for a great young gun to some team desperate to pay bills. It is Odom who is missing the train to the ring, not the Lakers. If this is a facebook drama, Odom is the girl, watchng the man add all these pretty girls.

Blogs are fun, but so far not much more use than creating nervous energy rehashed. We all feel this and wish we knew what we haven't a clue about.

Only Dr Buss and Mitch know what they will do. Only LO and his agent can make a decision, good, or bad for us and LO.

So we have to sit back as the poker continues.

I trust Buss more than Lamar, Buss has the track record. I am behind him LO, or no LO

You can`t use the "loss of endorsement money" argument as to why LO should stay with LA.

I`m sure he has not done any local commercials since becoming a Laker in `04.

He has a "pot-head" reputation, and any company steers clear of having their product endorsed by anyone who is not squeaky clean.
====================================
Meanwhile, Celts & Blazers are trying to pull off a sign and trade...Baby for T. Outlaw!

AK and BK, can you please nail down WHAT the Laker's have offered up until now, it seems the #'s are all over the board, is it 10 million for 3 years, 9 million for 3 years, 8 million for four years. Have they offered ANY 5 year deals, Are we sure what the Heat offered is true? and what did they offer? do the Lakers have an offer on the table for the same 5 years at a better amount? all this needs to be answered before we can say anything about how stupid or smart Lamar is.

Did you like that one, Mark?

Otis, I think Freud would be proud..

phred,

Yes, finding the truth is always difficult, and today's Brobdingnagian dissemination of misinformation only gives us still more to sort through.

I also agree with you that our post's hysterical reactions to claims from thoroughly dubious sources (e.g. Fido, Rover and Spot) is farcical--but not only will they not get it, with our epidemic national a.d.d., they may not remember it.

THIS TOWN AIN'T BIG ENOUGH FOR TWO OF US VARMINT, BACK OFF!!

THE KEY to winning the title next season is Bynum and is the reason why Laker organization is willing to part company with Lamar. With an addition of another MLE PF Lakers should still be the team to beat.

Can Bynum stay healthy and produce?

Why would a player willing to leave NBA's best run organization, best Bossman, best minority owner (Magic), best coach (Zen), best GMs (Mitch & Ronnie), best assistant coaches, surrounded by smart people (Kareem), best fans, the holly wood glitz and go to some PODUNK organization?

Good luck Lamar and TA and hope you find success and happiness in obscurity.


Hasta La Vista baby, Ciao, Sayonara, Namaste, Au revoir, Auf Wiedersehen and Peace out,

Back off!!

Lamar is very valuable because he pulls down so many rebounds. Especially at the end of games when we need them the most. In my opinion, that will be the aspect of his game we will miss the most and it will be very hard to replace...

Charles

Bucher may have also said, Kobe will never wear a Lakers uni again.

Hmmmm....

It's been a loooong time since the Lakers have wound up with a truly terrible contract that was just bad from all fronts. I believe that was the Grant contract. All the others, even the bad ones, looked like decent bets when inked. I include Kwame in this category.

No one except Jordon knew just how bad this dude was. And, with all that said, we still got the best two months (All-Star caliber months) out of Kwame's whole career when he stepped in for an injured Mihm.

Only Grant was just bad, bad, bad in every way. Even though he was/is a very likable dude.

With that track record, I still give the nod to Buss somehow re-signing Odom to a contract that seems reasonable.

But, it is still a close race...

--Fearless

Charles

Speaking of agents. Here's David Lee's clients.

He hit one Grand Slam with AB and thought he was Jerry Maguire.

Adams Hassan 193 G 84 USA Vojvodina (Serbia)
Alexander Shawn 188 G USA Soles (Mexico)
Ariza Trevor 203 F 85 DOM-USA Lakers (USA-NBA)
Bluntt Jahsha 198 G 84 USA Boulogne (France)
Bowman Brandon 204 F 84 USA Telekom B. (Germany)
Bynum Andrew 213 C 87 USA Lakers (USA-NBA)
Cook Ashanti 188 G 84 USA Bakersfield J. (USA-D-League)
Dupay Teddy 180 G 79 USA Michigan M. (USA-CBA)
Harrington Junior 193 G 80 USA U.Olimpija (Slovenia)
Hayes Jonas 203 F 81 USA Georgia (USA-NCAA)
Hunter Othello 203 F 86 USA Hawks (USA-NBA)
Slay Ronald 203 F 81 USA Ponce (Puerto Rico)
Stokes Loren 190 G 83 USA Aalstar (Belgium)
Underwood Cory 208 F/C 80 USA Albuquerque (USA-D-League)
Washington Fred 196 F 85 USA Stanford (USA-NCAA)
Williams Nate 210 C 80 USA Molina (Spain)
Williams Darnell 200 F 78 USA Rouen (France)

wow, you can say anything about anybody on this blog nowadays, it seems, as long as they are a 'public figure'

'Brobdingnagian dissemination of misinformation'

wow. i have been one-upped in the three dollar word competition.

good points

I think our national adhd epidemic has more to do with the attention span of our media (as in the true plural sense, not in the same of scapegoating 'the mainstream media') than our attention span as people. It's just the people who want to keep talking who have to keep finding something new to talk about (mea culpa) while most people keep what they believe in the back of their minds to trot out when it's most convenient.

Therefore, my theory is that the people who have bad things to say about Lamar have always had bad things to say about Lamar, they are just now talking the oppurtunity to pile on. Others who respect him more continue to feel that way. Only a few more swayable people really change their minds at any given point.

My intent isn't to change too many people's minds, as they are mostly made up, but to appeal to the rational nature of the best of us to remember to treat people fairly, whether they are 'public figures' or not.

sorry, where did this soapbox come from? Why am I standing on it? Anyway. You know, there was something somebody was saying a little while ago, something about something that happened at the end of the season, there was this championship series, and twenty nine teams didn't do something, and one team did, and it made me really happy. now what was that...

oh yeah, laker kev, thanks for reminding me to pick up a copy of 'gulliver's travels.' It's been awhile. Lilliputian is a good word when thinking of Red's Love Child's attributes, intellectual or otherwise, I must say.

Earl Watson is available

I wonder if he will sign for the Vet Min.?

We can always use another pt guard. Every team should 5-6, especially if he went to UCLA.

One last thought before I cook dinner.

Has Fido given any new sure-fire revelations today?

'Brobdingnagian Dissemination' would be a great name for a rock band.

I remember when he pulled 17,18,19,20 rebounds in a 4 game span. That was his highlight to me!

tomk-

I don't know, and moreover, unless my sources were Jeff Schwartz and Mitch Kupchak strapped to lie detector machines, I'm not sure I could know. I don't think my sources would be any more credible than the guys other veteran reporters have. That's kind of what I was getting at. There are so many sources on so many ends, it's hard to tell what's up and down, you know? Nobody makes stuff up- the ESPN guys (for example) have solid sources, so do the local writers. In the end, the information is still different.

I did have an interesting conversation today with someone in the business, who reminded me that at this point, a lot could be happening behind the scenes that isn't getting out. There wasn't much info before the flurry, there hasn't been much since. That doesn't mean, though, there isn't communication.

Sometimes, too (and this is me talking), things come down to semantics. What is an offer? What is firm? What's been talked about but not made concrete? All that.

In the end, we just have to wait and see.

BK

Man I tell you one thing if l.o. resigns he should be booed at the first game. If we could do it to kobe we should do it to him!! Why the hell would he say he'll take a pay cut then asking for more than he's worth?

phred,

I could never have any realistic hope of one-upping your Shakespearean Laker posts which, thankfully, you are kind enough to provide a translation for.

BTW, I became reacquainted with Swift a few years ago when we were basically forced to homeschool our kids while living in France. It was amazing how they took to him, Shakespeare, Lewis, Greek, Roman and Norse mythology and many of the other classics. Maybe because their minds were as of then unencumbered by Spongebob, X-Men and competing modern literature such as Harry Potter and My Two Moms.

Now we're comfortably settled back in the Matrix, and I've been camped out in the Laker sector, subsection Lamargate for the last few days.

People are angry around here, Lakers abstinence syndrome is getting worse and worse.
Don't get angry at Lamar, don't suppose things, don't believe everything is written over the internet. Every minute i get more anxious like everybody. I want Lamar back, but i'm not angry at him, or calling him traitor, greedy or anything. What if he came back? will you retract your words? i don't think so.

Insult the greenies, the funs, the jailblazers, the thuggets, etc. That's they are there for XD

Lamar is trying to do the best for him and his family. Nothing personal, just business. An he isn't on another team right now. Ariza put us in defcon mode, but is not the same agent, or player.

Deep breaths, incense, candles, oriental music, take each other hands... we are in this together, we are not alone, we will survive.

phred,

I think it's up to you, me and a few other bloggers to start that rock band.

phred,
You can't fit all of that onto the drums.

What the hell......I never heard of this.....

Dwyane Wade, who spent much of his rookie season picking Odom's brain, said he hopes those chats start again soon"I want Lamar to do what's best for him and his family because we love him as family, but on the other hand, we want him back we love him as family, but on the other hand, we want him back home, to come home," Wade said Friday in a telephone interview with the AP. "His house is still there. It'd be exciting to see what happens." happens."

Lamar needs to get Devean George on the phone and ask him how things are working out after leaving LA. And let Ariza listen in on the upstairs phone.

I know players want to get paid (forget the ridiculousness of a 30 year old multi-millionaire scoffing at a $27 million offer, in an economy quickly circling the drain) and players don't want to be "disrespected", but how many bad decisions have been made over the years based on what the player's AGENT wants in payment or street cred - all in the guise of doing right by his client....

This is the part the pisses me off about not just the NBA, but all sports....

On the other hand,why would odom want to end his career with a team other than the lakers....

Reports say that miami offered odom 5 years/36 mil. If he signed with the lakers for the 4 years/38 mil. I'm sure he can pick up a 5th year above 2 mil so now we see his motive.

He doesn't want to be a role player at the end of his days, so he will leave and money isn't a issue.

phred,

Also, I appreciate your laisser-faire (laisser-penser?) approach to others. (I had to learn it the hard way.) Feel free to pontificate on the subject anytime from your hallowed Laker Soap Box.

Yes, people's minds were made up about LO a long time ago. I've been fairly ambivalent about him--intrigued/fascinated by his natural abilities and frustrated by his inconsistency. I think we'll be ok without him, but I hope he stays.

I give the nod to the Good Dr. Buss 99 times out of 100. Although he's not smart enough not to drive around drunk with his 20-something girlfriend down here in San Diego, he knows business. He let Shaq go, which looked scary, but after some patience by us Laker fans, was the right move. He let Ariza go, then signed Artest. Odom knows if he leaves, he MAY win, but if he stays, he WILL win. He'll stay. Money is great, but whats the difference between 7 million and 9 million? Don't say 2 million dollars, because nobody should spend anywhere close to the either amount anyway. At that money, WINNING should be the priority. If Odom and the Lakers win 2 or 3 or more titles and Lamar is a big factor, could he not be considered for the HOF? I apologize for the "Odom and the Lakers" comment. I've never said anything but "Kobe and the Lakers" before. But LA could sure use Lamar.

MORE ON PLAN B (OR PLAN BYNUM)…

Moving forward without Lamar but with $54M in salary and luxury tax savings in hand, it’s not impossible that the Lakers end up being a better team next year without Lamar. The key is how young center Andrew Bynum responds to the added playing time and increased opportunity and responsibility afforded by Lamar Odom’s departure.

The Lakers Plan B assumes that the additional minutes and touches Drew gets with Lamar gone will enable him to elevate his play to become a dominant force on offense and defense who plays 35 to 40 minutes per game and is on the floor in the 4th quarter, an opportunity Phil might not have given him had Lamar re-signed with the team.

During this year’s playoffs, for example, Drew averaged 17 MPG while Pau averaged 40 MPG and Lamar 32 MPG. If we assume this year Drew averages 35 MPG this year, that would then leave around 14 minutes of playing time to be covered at power forward, which could be provided by a combination of Ron Artest, Josh Powell, and DJ Mbenga.

Looking at the playing time, you can also see why Lamar might be worrying about his minutes coming off the bench diminishing dramatically if Drew stays healthy and plays at the level he did before. Lamar probably realizes that the chances of his averaging 32 MPG this year were slim and none unless Drew got injured again. When you look at it from Lamar’s point of view, you can see what Jeff Schwartz has been telling him.

The other important factor in the Lakers Plan B is Bill, as in Ron Artest, who averaged 16 PPG in 37 MPG last year with the Rockets versus Trevor Ariza’s 11 PPG in 31 MPG with the Lakers. The additional points and assists from Ron as well as the extra minutes covered at power forward will also help the Lakers being a better team without Lamar.

Bottom line, sometimes a team is better off when the rotation is not so deep and the key players get more minutes. Sometimes, sharing the minutes too much actually hurts. With Kobe, Drew, Pau, and Ron, the Lakers now have four players who are All-Stars who need to get their minutes and touches in order to be effective. In some ways, you could argue the team was “too” deep with Lamar and will be better without him.

One thing the Lakers have done a great job of is getting rid of their mistakes both in terms of players and contracts. We have role players with expiring contracts lined up over the next few years. Even Luke’s contract now fits a plan and purpose. If you are Jerry Buss, even though you really want to win, Plan B is suddenly looking a lot better. The Lakers could conceivably be better next year without Lamar Odom, not even counting the $54M in salary and luxury taxes they saved.

As a fan, I would probably still vote for Plan A because it is not my $54M. If I were Jerry Buss, however, I would be very comfortable gambling on Plan B and Andrew Bynum. What about you?

Tom

Phred

your theory could be right...but for me i've always supported Lamar and wanted the team to keep him but still feel that this turns him into a cynical figure after all those claims of staying in LA and less money etc.That annoys me frankly.

If he had just kept his mouth shut then I would basically understand if he wanted to leave after all the trade rumours and lack of appreciation from laker fans until the most recent playoffs.In a way you can't blame the guy...but he shouldn't have said all that stuff about taking less money then gone and done this.It isn't fair.

It also just shows where his priorities are and makes it easier for people who have given him the benefit of the doubt to swing the other way.

I actually think he will end up in Miami...it might not have been his original intention but the longer this goes on the more he will get his head around being elsewhere.In his heart Odom secretly still believes he can be an all star and he is thinking about a bigger role there.Remember he doesn't see his game the way everyone else does.

While there are examples of overpaid guys on the lakers there is also the example of Artest who has proven a lot more than Odom has.He doesn't need to push it so much...if this persists we should let him go and sign boozer - 9, 10 mil can buy better players than odom these days.


I still think the lakers are a contending team without him and

I read an article a little while back about free agency that I think every Laker fan would benefit from reading.

It made one basic point: In order from most importance to least importance, free agents are looking for these three things:

1. Where they can get the most money.
2. What 'system' is best for they (in other words, where they can score the most points)
3. The city itself.

It did leave out years which I think is also a major factor, but other than that, that is what MOST free agents look for. Other than those few title-starved vets and maybe very few others, this holds true to NBA players.

I know most of us tend to think "who wouldn't want to be a Laker?!", but its not as simple as that.

Just a different perspective.

LG

Few things regarding LO

1. 4/36M or 3/27M are both better offers than the heats 5/35M deal. The nonsense you've been hearing about state taxes is overblown. The benefit would be roughly 500K a year as LO would have to pay taxes on road games.

2. I want him back, but if he chooses to leave the Lakers can still win a title. Bynum was a bum when he came back, but remember how he was playing right before his injury? If he can stay healthy in 2009/10 he will have an excellent season.

3. If LO leaves, I'd love to see the Lakers get Tim Thomas. He is a right handed version of Odem. He is a free agent and may be willing to sign for the minimum, which is the Lakers only way to sign a free agent at this point.

4. Artest can play the 4 alongside Gasol or Bynum against a smaller power forward. We could roll out a lineup of PG (take your pick who), Sasha, Bryant, Artest & Gasol. Artest adds so much to the team that this could work.

5. The only place Odom would sign outside of LA is Miami. Dallas has no shot. Portland isn't an attractive location (although the team is going to be very tough). I think if he wanted to leave he would have signed tonight. He was likely waiting until today when the Jazz matched the offer sheet to Millsap. Now Portland has the cap space to offer 4/40M or 5/50M. This will force Buss to make a decision. My guess is Odom signs with LA this weekend for 4/45M.

6. Boozer in LA has less than a zero percent chance of happening, but Utah will GIVE him away somewhere, lets hope to the Eastern conference.

7. For those of you that read this entire post, thanks.

Laker Tom,

I'm "all in" with your observation.

I am a little confused about the postings that LO said he would take less money to stay with the Lakers and then went back on his word. I thought he was asking for 10 mil which would be 4 mil less than what he was making before he became a free agent. 10 mil may be more than he's worth right now but it is still less than what he was making....please correct me if I'm wrong on this.....DH

Mr. Nano,

>>> Don't get angry at Lamar, don't suppose things, don't believe everything is written over the internet. Every minute i get more anxious like everybody. I want Lamar back, but i'm not angry at him, or calling him traitor, greedy or anything. What if he came back? will you retract your words? i don't think so.

If Lamar comes back, it will solidify the Lakers as a competitive force in the NBA. But I am angry at Lamar. He is being greedy. And he is asking the Lakers to believe in him more than he believes in himself. If Lamar truly believes in himself, he'll take the 3-year deal in the belief that three years from now, he'll be worthy of another good contract. I'm angry at Lamar because he said he wanted to remain a Laker, then uses his agent to send another message.

It really wasn't until the run-up to the 2009 Playoffs that Lamar consistently played up to his potential. Until then, he underperformed and was overpaid. If Dr. Buss ups the ante and gives him a better offer, I'll start throwing things at my TV every time Lamar slips into another coma while on the floor.

Lamar's been stealing the money for years. He and his agent are trying to work up another heist. I want him back, but not with a contract that will hurt the team a few years down the road.

I just read that LO gave a call to Jerry Buss.


If this happened, LO I gained a little bit of that respect I lost for you.

Hey, Larry,

Thanks for your comments. Just saw online that Lamar supposedly called Jerry Buss yesterday to talk and make sure there were no hard feelings over their not responding to Jerry’s latest offer so it looks as if the Lakers may still end up signing Lamar.

I happen to love Lamar but in a way I would like to see Drew be given a chance to play big minutes. What I was surprised after writing that post was the issue of how Lamar’s minutes would almost have to go down if Drew stayed healthy and played great. Players all like to start and play more minutes so I can understand if that is what is driving Lamar to consider other options.

At any rate, ever the optimist, I have now convinced myself that we are in a win-win situation. How is that for eliminating the stress of whether or not Lamar signs? LOL.

Tom

Finally, LO uses his brain and calls Dr. Buss:

http://tiny.cc/w0uft

Kev- you’re too kind. But don’t discount SpongeBob and Harry Potter. And I learned to read on comic books. I don’t think I ever would have opened Gulliver’s Travels if I hadn’t read a comic book adaptation first. But yeah, kids, unlike Celtics fans, will almost always choose more mental stimulation over less.

SurewinSr. – Great post. I appreciated the perspective, as well as the qualification re Dr Buss. He's not infallible, for sure, but he is a pretty good owner.

Kiwi- Ok, so you might be the one that still has an open mind. If so, please consider; Lamar said the right things, and he tried to be diplomatic. He never promised to be a Laker for life regardless of salary.

I think one of the things that people are reacting to is the perception of how much Lamar has been offered. This is, as many have pointed out, something that might never be entirely settled. I think you shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that he is just about money, and he will go the Miami if they offer him slightly more, at least based on anything that has been published so far. That’s why these nebulous numbers shouldn’t be the basis for anybody judging Lamar. It just might not be true.

But even if he does go the Miami for less, which won’t happen, but even if it did, I’m not going to say bad things about him. (at least, regarding his contract. If he does something stupid, i'll let him know) He gets to make his decision, and I will never know all the factors that go into it. Or whether things have changed since he said that he would like to stay in LA. I’m not telling you what to think, but if you do have an open mind, consider that.

Hey all!

I haven't read from the 60+ posts, but I tried to catch up on Lamar-watch on kcal...

Here's a link to Ireland: http://tinyurl.com/mmnqcw

And a link to Hill: http://tinyurl.com/mtsdrz

Hope we all end up saying "it's much to do about nothing".

GO LAKERS!!!

First of all, Lamar or no Lamar, dynasty will be there. Just reminder, Bulls reloaded everyone besides 3 centerpieces - MJ, Pippen and PJ at the helm, and got another 3 peet. As long as we have Kobe, Pau, progressing Bynum, player-coach Fisher and now very hungry RA, with PJ at the helm, we will be Ok. Triangle showcased even average players, remember Smush..? How good Trevor going to in Houston, big question, without Yao and TMac, needs to score 20pts every game. Lamar forgot he is not going to play for Riley over there, but for young unproven coach, who can be easily dominated by superstar, like Wade, or past supercoach turned GM like Riley, great. Welcome back to the real not so bright world, Lamar.

Garrett- I did read the entire post, and you're welcome, but Tim Thomas? What? Please tell me that was a typo and you meant to type 'any other basketball player in the universe' That guy has killed more team chemistry than a bottle of chlorox and zach randolph combined. Ok, ok, i might still be prejudiced from the phoenix series two years ago, but I don't think so.
Anyway. Reasoned points otherwise, while i'm being nice, rational, and pedantic.


Something else i've been thinking about. If we are going to make a big deal over the length of the deal, shouldn't we be aiming for giving Lamar a nice big deal that expires a year after we want to rebuild anyway, so we can use it as a trade asset? Expiring contracts seem to be worth more than gold in the nba these days. Just a thought, and i'm sure it's not going to make Mitch smack his forehead a say 'of course, why didn't i think of that!' but I wondered if anyone else had considered it.

LakerTom;

Exactly - win-win.

Phred sed,

>>>
He gets to make his decision, and I will never know all the factors that go into it. Or whether things have changed since he said that he would like to stay in LA.
>>>

Yep, he could be like Hedo & go to a city so please his significant other. Lots of reasons can swirl in a person's mind.

Time will tell.

It's just that the time is killing me........

Laker Tom,

Exactly, That's why I'm not convinced Lamar wholeheartedly wants to return. The better Bynum gets, the more superfluous Lamar becomes. Lamar knows this and might want to go to a place he knows and knows he'll play a more prominent role.

Addendum:

And that place would be Miami.

BK - my own small take on the reliability of sources, whether facebook, twitter, carrier pigeon, etc... so, I'm at a horse show today and I'm talking to this kid, a friend of my daughter's, about the Odom situation. So later, when I'm at home making dinner, my daughter brings me a text message from the kid, news that he apparently wanted to relay to me, indicating that a deal had been struck. At least,, that's what I assumed the message meant (in all its truncated glory). And naturally, I figured the info was good. After all, why wouldn't I believe a 15 year-old kid?

So after dinner, I get a chance to hop on the interet, ready to devour all the happily ever after news. Um, wrong. No such news. Moral of the story - don't believe teenaged boys who want to score points with the father of a teenaged girl. Or, to put it another way... source it!

Lamar's words and actions fit the "Adapting-Dealing" LIFO profile. The basic life game-plan of this orientation goes something like, "If I can maintain harmony in all my relationships, then I can get the good things in life." This is why he stressed wanting to keep a great relationship with the Lakers, and why he called Jerry Buss. Another tendancy of this orientation is that of flip-flopping a lot, which he has also shown in changing his tune several times regarding salary demands and other things.

Lakertom.

"Bottom line, sometimes a team is better off when the rotation is not so deep and the key players get more minutes. Sometimes, sharing the minutes too much actually hurts. With Kobe, Drew, Pau, and Ron, the Lakers now have four players who are All-Stars who need to get their minutes and touches in order to be effective. In some ways, you could argue the team was “too” deep with Lamar and will be better without him."

Hmmm, might have a great point here.

Kobe, Drew, Pau, and Ron if that can't win a ring what is? Lakers might just need simple role players not at the caliber of Lamar. More liike D-fish role players and Shannon Browns. AND maybe Powell fits that bell already. 15 MINUTES OF jOSH AND 10 OF mBENGA. mIHM AND sEAN mAY MIGHT BE GOOD ENOUGH ROLE PLAYERS TOO.

LAKERS Ii THINK STILL NEEDS A TWO 10 PT SCORER OFF THE BENCH, AMMO, BROWN AND FARMAR HOPEFULLY CAN PROVIDE THIS.

REASONS WHY LAMAR MIGHT LEAVE…

HINT: It won’t be about the money.

1. Doesn’t want to come off the bench.
2. Doesn’t want to play less than starter minutes.
3. Doesn’t want to be the 5th option.
4. Doesn’t want to sit in 4th quarter.
5, Doesn’t want to reduce his stats and legacy.
6. Doesn’t want the pressure of being a Laker.

It just could be that the best thing for the Lakers AND Lamar Odom
would be him to go to a team that needed him more.

If you could be a starter and #2 guy on another contender,
be guaranteed that you would play 30 MPG, know that your
stats and profile would be higher and thus your legacy, too?
What’s a championship worth? Playing 20 MPG vs. 32 MPG?
Starting vs. Being a 6th man? LA and NY are pressure cookers.
Lamar is more laid back Miami in many respects.

At any rate, no need to dump on the guy. He has some serious
decisions to make and some valid concerns to consider.

As for the Lakers, hell, it’s a WIN-WIN situation. If we lose Lamar,
we give Drew a chance to be player we all believe he can be.
If he answers the bell, we come out way ahead. If we sign Lamar,
then we can bring Drew along more slowly and have the benefit
of insurance against foul or injury problems.

As phred says, WE WON. And the Lamar situation, it’s WIN-WIN!

Tom

phred,

Good point about the final year of Odom's contract being valuable trade bait. Of course, if we do end up signing him we'll need to keep our fingers crossed that type 2 diabetes doesn't set in about that time.

Laker Tom, Phred,

Put me on your win-win bandwagon.

yoyo taliq-

since i joined this blog i happened to agree with you on a lot of topics but i gotta say this time you may be just overstepping yo boundaries and this one may be out of yo jurisdiction sheriff...

as much as we all wanna sympathize with lamar he deserves every bit of criticism and more. why would he say those things after we win like LA is family and he'll do everything to stay blah blah.. just feeding us BS lies and thats why i think lakernation is resenting him more.. i dont care if they were just rhetorical answers but thats unacceptable.

maybe for someone with a better track record we can give more leeway but lamar has been severely underperforming and overpaid for the last 5 years. hes been extremely inconsistent and basically has shown up to play at his own convenience. he finally decides to play ironically in his contract year and i think that says a lot about the man his work ethic and his dedication.

if theres one thing fans will always appreciate is hardwork and dedication. we may worship and adore talent but fans never forget hard work... maybe thats why LA resented shaq so much.. the man was a freak but if only he worked a little harder lakers never dump him, win 5 more rings, retire his jersey, and his contract isnt so unceremoniously and embarrasingly dumped around.... anyways im rambling now and i know its lamars money and agree he got every right to shop the FA mkt but when any athletes rejects any offer that is still above than his true worth its insulting to the buss and the fans.

but lets say those comments by BK are indeed true and the media has been deceiving us and say lamar never got those offers than that would totally suck for him and we owe him a huge apology... but i dont understand... has someone inside the LAtimes that broke the story lied? if so why and why wouldnt the lakers or lamars camp wanna come out and clear up the story?

aight i'm outs...

respectfully (your comrade in arms who will always have yo back on luke),

yellofever

lakerlarry

i think in one of your previous posts you were on to something... if lamar is really gonna turn down that much money to stay in LA and go to miami i think hes definitely fighting his inner demons... the only reason i see him wanting to turning down that much money is because hes AFRAID OF THE PRESSURE... afraid of living up to his potential after the finals. maybe his performance in his own mind was more a product of luck than skill and hes afraid hes wont be able to perform to that level again... maybe he just wants the last big guaranteed contract so he can just CHECK OUT and not deal with championship pressure. maybe if the man really believed in himself he would take the 3/30 deal work his ass off and get another bigger deal after 3 years...

lakertom

loved your post.. i concur!

contrary to popular opinion and of course on paper losing lamar really hurts but i really dont see why lakers cant be even better... so barring an injury free bynum playing 30 minutes and now artest in the mix defensively this team can be so much scarier.

what we lose in versatility and bench depth our starting unit can make up with more consistent minutes and hopefully better chemistry.. so i wouldnt mind losing odom if we can replace him with another solid forward who can provide 20-25 minutes a night... last thing we want is luke averaging over 20 again so it would be absolutely imperative we get another forward or scorer off the bench.

i never thought miami would offer odom 5 YEARS! no way i ever imagined riley giving odom another big payday. isnt he the same idiot that gave him that ridiculous contract before the lakers saved his ass and took lamar off his hands. that probably saved his career and now hes about to make the same mistake twice? pls tell me hes just blowin smoke and theres no validity to the report...


follow me on twitter. I'm "golakers602"

The bottom line is Kobe is stingy. Kobe should give up maybe the difference or enough to take care of the luxury tax differential so they can sign Lamar. Vanesa doesn't need a new purse, a new car, new lingerie, new this or that. Kobe should pay if Kobe wants another ring.

The significance of the 5/35 deal is not only with respect to state taxes (about 2 mil over the term of the contract), but also that it provides certainty on the back end of the contract.

Let's get clear about the state taxes. Playing for the Lakers, Lamar would be subject to a 10.3% tax rate for a bit more than half his salary, plus a blended rate for the others states in which he plays. (Note that Lamar plays not only his 41 Lakers home games in California, but also two road games per year against the Clippers, the Kings and the Warriors, which makes that 47/82 (57%) of his salary being subject to that 10.3% rate.) Let's say the blended rate for all the other states is 3%. That gives him an overall tax rate of about 7.2%.

Now, playing in Miami, his 41 home games plus two road games against Orlando would make 43/82 of his salary taxable at 0%. His blended rate for games in other states would be a bit higher than Lamar's, since it takes into account 4 road games in California taxable at 10.3%. Let's call this 3.5% overall. This means that his overall tax rate playing for Miami would be about 1.6%.

So, the difference would be about 5.6% per year. What does this do to the economics of his deal? (Let's round down the difference to 5% to make the math easier, and assume that Lamar pays 5% state taxes overall playing for the Lakers, and 0% playing for Miami. The overall results stay basically the same if we were actually to use 7.2% playing for the Lakers and 1.6% playing for Miami.)

3/30 is reduced by California taxes to 3/28.5. Now, what does Lamar get for the next two years after his contract with the Lakers ends? He needs 6.5 after taxes to match 5/35, which is 7 from the Lakers. How certain is he that he gets a 3.5 mil per year offer at that point (age 34)? And, more importantly, to EXCEED 5/35, he has to get MORE than 3.5 mil per year for those two years. So, the point is that 5/35 provides more certainty than 3/27, and, from an economic perspective, it is very competitive.

Similarly, as Jayson pointed out, with 4/36. After California taxes, that's 4/34.2. To get to 5/35, he would need only about 1 million in the fifth year to equal 5/35. The point, though, is that to EXCEED the 5/35 offer, he has to get MORE than 1 million when he renegotiates at the end of the four year deal. What is he likely to command at age 35? There's uncertainty there, and perhaps he doesn't get so much of an offer at that point. ---Again, though, the main point is not that 5/35 is necessarily better, but that it's not materially inferior to the 4/36 offer.

The mistake most posters have made is to look at per-YEAR earnings, as to which the Lakers' purported offers seem clearly superior. Ie, the thought is that anyone would prefer making 9 mil or 10 mil per year than 7 mil per year.

But that's a short-sighted way of looking at it. The far more important number is the total value of his earnings over the full five year period. The more he makes during the 3 or 4 years, the more the drop off in the final year or two.

Given the possibility of injury, the potential drop-off in his skills, the potential unwillingness of teams to pay for older players, and uncertainty in the economy, the certainty of 5/35 has some clear economic advantages over 3/30 and 4/36.

But, most importantly, when viewed overall, what's clear is that 5/35 is NOT in any way materially INFERIOR to the Lakers' offers. Jayson concluded that up to now the Lakers have offered contracts that are only basically EQUIVALENT to the Miami offer, and do not provide any material economic advantage. This seems correct.

Phred-

I figured the Tim Thomas comment would cause some concern for some of the group, but the free agent market is slim with guys that might sign for the minimum.

The Lakers have very little trade bait. Walton's contract is too big, Morrison, is well, Morrison and I doubt a team will take his $5M salary. Farmer isn't going anywhere, his future is backing up Shannon Brown.

Thomas can shoot, put the ball on the floor and is 6'10. I wouldn't worry about him in the clubhouse. With such vets as Kobe/Pau/Fish/Jackson and even Artest he wouldn't get out of line. Plus, if he did sign it would have to be for the minimum, which means there is almost no risk. If he acts up, cut him. Remember, with no cap and no assets to trade, not many options.

Once again, LO will sign with LA today or tomorrow, 4/45M range

I'm tired of the talk that Bynum is the X factor in the Lakers winning the championship. They have been saying that for the last couple of years and so far it has not happend. He was not even a factor in this year's championship. He's too injury prone and slow for that matter. What guarantee do we have that he will not be injured again this coming season? Come to think of it I'd say he's one reason why the Lakers does not have the money to keep T.A. and possibly L.O. because of the huge contract he got which was undeserving. Bottom line after losing T.A. the Lakers can ill afford to lose L.O. or the next season is over even before it started.

Lamar can guarantee Cleveland, Orlando, Celtics, and a couple other teams a 2010 NBA championship. The Lakers have no chance to repeat without Odom. Artest does not have the multitalents or teamanship that Odom has.

losing ariza and maybe odum is a terrible mistake ariza was defensive glue and odum brought several intangible assets to lakers that can`t be replaced by artest. would have loved to seen kobe restructure his contract to keep the team together if walton can be paid or should i say over paid than surely ariza and odum should have been compensated for what they brought to the team. lose walton&farmar`s contracts and keeping ariza and odum could have been a done deal the walton&farmar combo is easily replaced with other role players


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