Odom Equilibrium

Zephid —  July 14, 2009

LAKERS

In Game Theory, there is a canonical game known in the academic world as “Hawk-Dove.”  Colloquially, however, it is more commonly known as the game of chicken.  For those who have never experienced such an event (and those who have stupidly attempted to perform this game using automobiles), the game entails two players engaging in some activity until one person stops, in which case the other person wins.  One of the most common versions of chicken is to drive two cars at one another on a road, and the first person to veer off the road loses (yet, stupid, I know).  This game has been used to model numerous events, from possible nuclear conflict (dramatized in Dr. Strangelove), or in our case, contract negotiation.

We’ve had plenty of discussion regarding the arrival of Ron Artest, the departure of our dear Trevor Ariza, and articulated some thoughts about Shannon Brown’s new deal. Yet, the question of which we covet the most clarity, but remains the most enigmatic is, “What the heck is going on with Lamar Odom?” Many fans have grown frustrated with the prolonged process, often seeking the comfort in even the bleakest of certainties, growing more and more restless with each passing day. Many attempt to rationalize the thoughts of each side, analyzing Odom’s free-market value as compared to our championship probabilities. Yet, in the end, it all comes down to two players: Lamar Odom vs. the Lakers front office.  As both parties rumble headlong towards one another, it is a question of who will blink first and give in to the others demands: Will the front office acquiesce to Lamar’s $10 million dollar demand, or will Lamar come to accept his paycut and come back to his championship teammates?  For that, as always, we must find out who has the most to gain, and who has the most to lose.

While there is debating as to how much Lamar Odom’s presence impacts our success, there is no question that his presence improves our chances of winning the championship; A line-up with Lamar Odom is no doubt better than a line-up without Lamar Odom. Yet, with an eye to the future, remaining financially flexible is a huge issue, especially during this economic downturn in which the salary cap is anticipated to decrease by as much as 15%. Because of this, it is important to sign Odom to an economically sound value, both in a financial sense and a tradability sense.

It is here that we have a conflict of interest. As in the rest of rational free-market economics, it is Lamar Odom’s right to seek the maximum possible value from his employer, and it is the employer’s right to receive the greatest utility from Odom, this being the value Odom adds on the court less the value of his contract. In this manner, the front office is trying to gain Odom’s services at the least possible cost, and Lamar is trying to hold out as long as possible until the Lakers will not offer any more money. The question that many of us have is how high the Lakers should go. Back in December, I (in retrospect, rather foolishly) made the conjecture that at least some team would offer Odom a max contract. This is obviously not the case anymore, and the most any team outside of Portland and Oklahoma City has at most the Mid-Level Exception to offer. Many have claimed that this gives Odom little leverage, and thus the Lakers straying too far above the mid-level would be a complete blunder.

However, we need to consider exactly how much leverage the Lakers have. Having already used the Mid-Level Exception on Ron Artest, the Bi-Annual Exception on Shannon Brown, the Lakers are left with sign-and-trading Odom and minimum salary players as options outside of re-signing Odom. Given that the Lakers are already deep in the luxury tax, they won’t sign-and-trade Odom unless they receive an absolutely absurd offer (think a high-profile young player, a #1 pick, and an expiring contract) or non/partially guaranteed contract). And as for minimum salary players, well, they won’t come anywhere close to fulfilling the roles that Odom plays on our team.

Odom and his camp know this fact full and well and are exploiting it to no end. Even with reports of Odom refusing an offer upwards of $8mil per year, Odom still knows that the Lakers need him more than he needs the Lakers, or at least that is the front office’s perception. This led to them repeatedly upping their offers, with some rumblings that Lamar will stubbornly hold out for his $10 mil per year till the bitter end.

I recently bought an apartment and the one thing my real estate agent told me is to not make incrementally increasing bids. If you initially bid $220,000 and they refuse, don’t continually up your offer by $5000. If you bid $225,000, then $230,000, then $230,000, the seller will realize that you are willing to pay more and just keep refusing to squeeze as much money out of you as possible. The correct play is to make an initial bid, and if that bid is refused, make a final offer and be prepared to walk away. This forces the seller to make a decision and either accept your offer or face the uncertainty of having to accept something less at a later date.

The Lakers have already made this mistake, and Lamar has caught onto it. His holdout may end today, or tomorrow, but it may last until next week, next month. Lamar senses weakness in the Laker camp, and his plan to hold out from the beginning has worked. With respect to the free-market, Odom was expected to command at most a little bit above the MLE, a slight premium for giving the Lakers certainty that he’ll sign with them. Yet, he has gained much, much more than that, and is even holding out for more. Even the staunchest of Lamar Odom supporters feel that $9 mil per year is too much, especially given how deep we are in the luxury tax, but the fact that the negotiations have gotten to this point is indicative to the success of Lamar Odom’s strategy.

Personally, I believe that Lamar brings enough assets to our team to justify the tax bill.  Yes, I agree that $9 mil per year is too much, and we should be careful to make sure the deal isn’t too long term, as Odom’s production is highly correlated with his natural ability and athleticism, which are bound to deteriorate with age.  But, now that it has come to this, the Lakers have to bite the bullet and take the luxury tax hit.  If winning a championship is the ultimate goal, and nothing comes close to it, there’s no question that the right move is to re-sign Odom, regardless of the price.  Re-signing Odom gives us the best chance to win a championship, and when it comes to choosing between dollars or glory, I choose the glory.  Then again, it’s not my money either.

Whatever the case may be, we as fans can only wait.  We may gripe with the front office’s unwillingness to pay Lamar his due, or Lamar’s unwillingness to give a discount to the team that never lost faith in him, but in the end, it all comes down to who’s willing to stay the course longest in this proverbial game of chicken.

-Zephid

Zephid

Posts

262 responses to Odom Equilibrium

  1. part of me is angry that a millionaire athlete is holding out for every last dime, but another part of me can understand why he is.

    Kurt is right, the Lakers need him more than he needs the Lakers. He has his title, his place in history, and league wide respect that every player of his caliber wishes to have. But you have to keep in mind that his entire Laker tenure has been in the shadow of the Kobe-Shaq era (until last month)

    He was one of the most rumored players on the trade market for the last 4 years or so. Even last summer, Kupchak was two Maloof brothers away from trading him for his boy Ron Artest.

    If I’m LO, I’m looking at Mitch and asking “you were willing to give me away for Ron, and now that you have him you’re asking me to take a 50% paycut to stay around? you have what you were asking for last offseason.”

  2. I wonder if Lamar is worth twenty million dollars to Jerry Buss. Without Lamar, we would still likely make it to the Conference Finals if not the Final Dance.

    If each playoff game earns the franchise one million dollars, and the Lakers lose seven million dollars because of a Lamar-less squad, does merchandise and other income make up the thirteen million dollar difference?

    I am going out on the limb here when I say that Jerry Buss is probably spending for glory these days. Lamar, don’t **** this up.

    Edited for profanity under commenting guideline #1

  3. The one point of leverage that I haven’t seen much mention of for LO is that he could take the MLE for one year, say with Miami, then hit the open market again when there is much more cap space around the league.

    A gamble for sure, but seemingly a more legit plan B than any the Lakers have.

  4. Excellent input, stating the facts, both sides of the coin, and your stance, which is the stance that most Laker fans hold.

    The only part that could be elaborated on is the part of ego deep within each NBA player. Lamar is definitely a team player, evidenced by being a bench player and doing what was asked by the Lakers. Odom did this to win the championship (and because he was still getting paid +13Mil). They won the championship, the one thing every player dreams of doing. What happens after that? Players go for the money, minutes, and to establish the rest of their legacy. Look at James Posey after his championship with the Celtics (went to a lesser team the Hornets), Fisher after the Finals loss in 04′ (went to Golden State nuff said). Later Fisher was able to reestablish himself as a leader with quality minutes and being an elder spokesman on Utah, definitely earning his money and minutes, which boosted his self worth as a player.

    Players that have won a championship are more open to receiving more money or playing time to be on a team that is less likely to win a championship. Once you reach that goal, you start looking more about finances and your status in the NBA, superstar, star, role player, bench player, Sun Yue, etc. (sorry Sun). It’s natural and I don’t blame the players. The best outcome for the players is to get paid and to win a championship.

    Lamar is now getting the chance to have his cake (+9M) and eat it too. Will he sacrifice this slice for a little bit more dough?

    The Lakers have given a very generous offer and are willing to pay the tax. Will Odom give a little and continue to be the team player that we know and love? We’ll have to wait and see.

  5. There is the issue of years, also. In the long run, that is worth more money than 1 or 2 million this year. Obviously, 1 extra year at 8 million is worth roughly 4 years at 2 million more/ year. (presumably he shoves all that cash into a gigantic mattress instead of investing it)

    This is also likely to be his last contract. So more than just cap money, where does he fit into a team’s long term agenda?

  6. Only an idiot would turn down 9 mil per. If that is the offer. If his agents can’t get an extra mil in endosement money, he should get some new agents.

  7. excellent article.

    i think you nail it on the head. odom’s camp is really using the lack of another option for the lakers front office to their advantage. the only way they lose out is if the lakers simply walk away from the table, which is unlikely. well-played, i must say. even as he is losing his money, i have to think jerry buss (an avid poker player) appreciates the way odom’s team has played their hand.

  8. by the way, contrast this to team ariza’s approach to contract talks and it offers a pretty thorough education on negotiations.

    the lakers front office had a backup option in ron artest, so when ariza’s camp tried to play hardball the lakers were able to walk away from the table with a fair amount of confidence. ariza ended up on the losing end due to his team’s lack of understanding about the alternatives the lakers front office had.

    ironic, because going into the offseason we thought ariza would be the easier one to keep and that odom would be happy to take a paycut. odom’s agent has earned his paycheck this year. ariza’s agent has not.

  9. Maybe Lamar was insulted that he wasn’t a hot free agent earlier in the summer so now that he is the best of what is left he is soaking it up.

    Still, didn’t he say he would take less to stay with the Lakers, and aren’t the Lakers offering him more than anybody else?

    C’mon Lamar!

  10. I LOVE L.O like most Laker Fans, and outside of Kobe and Ariza, L.O has become one of my favorite Lakers; but i HOPE L.O’s agent has learned from Ariza’s agent and won’t play hardball with Buss. Take the 9mill, no way he gets the same dough elsewhere on a championship contending squad. I do think this is a great offer even at 3years, if Artest is taking the mid-level, no way Odom shouldn’t be grinning ear to ear at this offer.

  11. Lol, if only Andrew Bynum showed some semblance of certainty, this would not be an issue.

    The Lakers latest offer probably won’t be on the table for long. The Lakers aren’t happy with the way negotiations have gone, probably thinking they made a more-than- reasonable (or fair) offer.

  12. Coffee is For Closers July 14, 2009 at 11:42 am

    As someone who’s business occassionally involves contract negotiations, I do get a kick out of fans who just say ‘he’s earned it, give him the money’. In the end, you’re worth what you can negotiate.

    From what I can tell, I think lamar has been well represented in this process. Further, both sides keeping information out of the papers has benefited both parties, while frustrating us diehards.

    Yes, the lakers don’t have a lot of great options from a roster standpoint if they can’t sign lamar, but lets not forget, not signing lamar at $9M/ years saves the team $18M! Easy for us to say that shouldn’t be a consideration.

    At the end of the day, Lamar still needs the Lakers a whole lot. He wants to be here, and seemingly the lakers are the only team willing to pay him a few millon over the MLE. Sticking it to the lakers by signing a MLE somewhere else is a classic, “cutting off your nose to spite your face” situation.

    Its precisiely because there hasn’t been a lot of posturing that I think a deal gets done. It would be foolish for LO to use pride (insulted by lakers offer), or the lakers to use a ‘take it or leave it’ stance. Both sides need each other, and the professional manner in the way they’ve conducted themselves would lend one to believe an agreement will be reached.

  13. I don’t see how Bynum’s health would impact this at all. Even with Bynum healthy, you can’t underestimate how important LO’s presence on the team is because of the flexibility he gives us for matchups.

    A team with LO as the sixth man and Gasol and Bynum can pretty much match up with any frontcourt in the league, regardless of that frontcourt’s constitution.

    LO is critical to this team’s chances to repeat. His return is just as important as getting a healthy Bynum.

  14. If winning a championship is the ultimate goal, and nothing comes close to it, there’s no question that the right move is to re-sign Odom, regardless of the price. Re-signing Odom gives us the best chance to win a championship, and when it comes to choosing between dollars or glory, I choose the glory. Then again, it’s not my money either.

    You said it, it is not your money. This year my business is down 60% and I show up everyday, more than what we can say for LO. Love him, but I trust the lakers can make a smart trade to replace his potential ego focused rear end. Buss is the best owner in sports and is very fair. As we know he does have a breaking point and I think LO is right on it. Got to think that Lakers are about to call the chicken, its time, make a final offer.

    Old saying, pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

    Demands from spoiled NBA millionaires gets pretty old in this economy, even when you want another NBA ring.

    If LO is all money, send him packing. There has to be some principle. Right now LO looks like the hog. buss does not like to be played, LO should not forget that.

  15. I may be off here, but this reminds me a bit of Manny and the Dodgers. There were supposed to be several teams in the market for Manny, especially after providing such a serviceable second half and a nice playoff run to boot. All I can say is that I hope Lamar isn’t on the female fertility drugs too!

  16. Playing devil’s advocate here but if Turk and Bargnani are getting 10 mil, Lamar should get 10 mil. If Millsap (a backup PF) has 8 mil on the table, Lamar deserves more than that.

  17. I am more and more in the TonyF camp on this one. LO, come home already!

  18. Okay, I’m as annoyed as everyone about the slow pace, but look at it this way.

    If you are Odom, why would you sign right now? Why? This is a negotiation and the Lakers have no great Plan B. Furthermore, the only team left that can give you more (Blazers) has their money encumbered for the next week during their Milsap offer, so you might as well wait to see how that comes out.

    If you are the Lakers, why would you bump your offer now? You know Odom is going to wait until the Blazers are settled anyway. In the mean time, you need to start exploring sign-and-trade options around the league to get any kind of leverage and Plan B in this situation. I don’t think the Lakers win anything by giving an ultimatum right now.

    Unless someone sees something different than this, this negotiation is going to take at least until the Blazers situation is settled.

  19. It looks like the wait is over. Utah will soon match!
    The Jazz may take out a short-term bank loan to match Portland’s four-year contract offer to Millsap, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. (Jul 14).

    http://www.sltrib.com/sports/ci_12829703

    We will see if portland will now go after Odom.
    Even if they offer the same deal to Odom, that is great news for the Lakers because it is 32 million over 4 years and I believe that is no better than what the Lakers have offered him.

  20. 9 mil is way way over what Lamar is worth. I would estimate his actual market value at around 6 mil. Inspite of what a lot of you have argued on this site, Lamar is not going to play major minutes if we can get 35 minutes of play from Bynum as we would have expected from another starter. In that sense, Lamar is just an insurance policy for Bynum and Pau.

    Not to say that having 3 starter quality bigs is not worth it but just arguing that investing 18 mil for a backup might not really be financially viable.

    Also, I dount Lamar will get a 5 year deal from the Lakers. We already have or would like to have commitments for the following players for the next 5 years:
    Kobe at 20 mil or more
    Pau in the range of 20 mil
    Bynum in the range of 15 mil
    Artest for 6 mil

    If we basically commit to Lamar for 5 years at 9 mil, then we are basically committing to more than the salary cap for the next 5 years for just 5 players. Add in the bench and a starting point guard and you are way above salary cap for 5 years. I don’t believe the lakers will want to commit to being so financially inflexible.

  21. If L.O. signs with the Blazers I may shed a tear, haha. That would be awful.

    I think this will all get resolved w/ L.O. coming back in the purple and gold. However, most of us said that regarding Ariza, as well. I think we may see the Lakers add a player option or something for a 4th year, and that might be the selling point for L.O. and his group.

    While I understand he’s 30 and the Lakers don’t want to commit big money to an aging/inconsistent player like Lamar (especially w/ cap situations) he is one of the keys to our success.

  22. It is the Lakers who are beginning to show fraying around the edges, not Lamar’s camp. That tells me that it is the Lakers who are closer to making a final demand. This should give Lamar’s camp pause, as they are about as far as they can expect to go.

    If the issue is really the length of the contract, then Lamar should take the money for one/two years and demand a player option. He would then be able to get his last, big contract while he is still young enough (31say) if the economy is showing signs of re-inflating. I personally don’t think the next two years are going to be very good for the players so my guess is that Lamar is screwed, unless he takes less now to get a longer contract.

  23. Zephid,

    I respectfully disagree when you say it’s not your money. The money that the Lakers spend is our, the fan’s, money. It is the money that we give them for their product, and we expect the best. We need to pay this man.

  24. So much for taking less money to stay w/ the Lakers. As of right now only the Lakers and OKC can offer LO more than the MLE. OKC has not shown an interest in signing FA this offseason. Portland has their caproom tied up in the offer to Millsap.

    If Lamar is really about the money, it would’ve been better for all parties if he had not mentioned a willingness to take less money to stay. He shouldn’t have said anything. Now he appears to be going back on his word. Don’t make a statement if you aren’t willing to honor it LO.

  25. Lamar is not worth $9 mil a year. He should be getting a contract similar to Marion’s contract. He already was overpaid the last 5 years of his previous contract. He’s a bench player!

  26. I have to agree with zephid and others on this one. LO has called the lakers bluff. LO has said he’ll take less than his current contract and he has (14 mill to 10 mill that’s a 28 percent cut if – a big if – I can do math). The difference is apparently 1 million between them and length of contract. If the lakers offer 3 yrs/30 mill against, say, 4 yrs/36 mill, I’d take the short term hit. The lakers will make it up with playoff apperances, etc. A better economy, which we should hopefully be in 3 years, will also bring up some extra cash. We’re clearly not aware of the details, but I think the lakers should sign him. If Buss is so ticked about this decision 1 year later, he can always trade him. He may not necessarily get equal value, but hey, who would have thought we could get Gasol?

  27. Nice job putting everything in perspective, Zephid.
    I’m not sure LA has less leverage per se, but certainly Odom is utilizing his better. Clearly, Odom takes a 50% cut if he ends up with the MLE, while LA is not going to get its chances of winning cut by 50%. I know that’s not exactly a scientific way to look at it, but I still think if this is about the money, LA has more leverage. They are simply not using it as well.

  28. I will always side with the millionaire athlete with talent over the billionaire owner.

  29. Does anybody knows if CBA allows to defer payment, just like in baseball?

  30. Another great article Zephid, A good time for this Post of yours. I do think that the 9m offer was to generous in this lux tax times for the Lakers. Like I said before, when he plays like 25 minutes a game, as in the 2008-09 begining of the season. You do not even see double figure stats in any category, except maybe +/- numbers. I do think he would bolt to Miami for the MLE at 5 years with Pat Riley though, rather than take a 3 year deal with the Lakers at more $ per year. I do not want to see him go, he is invaluable for our big man rotations. But not taking the Lakers latest offer, is OK with me, hey, he can wait until October to sign with any team, right?

  31. Anonymous (1:14 p.m.): While Lamar did technically come off the bench in most games, he played 25-30 mpg this year. That’s more than some starters, so I think it’s a bit misleading to say that he’s a “bench player.”

    Certain players are irreplaceable because of a particular set of attributes. Lamar, to the extent that he is irreplaceable, is so because of his wide array of physical talents. The Human Swiss Army Knife, as some have put it. He gives the Lakers quite a bit of flexibility in putting together the rest of their lineup, because whatever they need after everyone else has been put in their place, he can likely provide.

    It’s undeniable that there’s often been doubt as to whether he actually WILL provide it. He has checked out of games now and then. But I’m not sure how often that’s actually cost the Lakers. It has happened on a number of occasions, and I think the bad rap Lamar sometimes gets is based as much on how spectacular his brain farts are as anything else. (That dribble onto the floor comes to mind.) But that’s not necessarily a good indication of how often it happens.

    Personally, I feel he’s worth about $8 million per year. But I also feel that’s of minimal significance here, because this is not really an ideal game theory situation: People are not going to act perfectly rationally here, and they aren’t acting on complete information, either. I think the outcome is going to be driven by other factors, with money being only the way those factors are conveyed.

    weak sauce (12:32 p.m.): It’s not our money any more than the money we pay the market for groceries is our money (after we get the groceries). We therefore get a say in those decisions only to the extent that we are willing to walk away from the product if it doesn’t meet our standards. The Lakers are a bit too popular for that to affect Buss very much, I’m afraid, so it really is his money.

  32. the other Stephen July 14, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    perhaps the explanation is as simple as odom keeping his options open for as long as possible, even if he is leaning heavily in a certain direction, or sees, as we do, that there is a clearly logical choice. i see no point in nit-picking until it happens for certain.

  33. the other Stephen July 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    32. we do the same all the time. why should odom’s situation be any different?

  34. $8 million is already pushing the limits of what the market has set as his price. That said, I can’t really imagine a possible sign-and-trade situation that the Lakers would accept. Dallas is interested, but has no trade chips the Lakers would be greatly interested in, as Cuban has refused to trade Howard. Odom for Terry doesn’t exactly excite me. Ironically, Miami fulfills Zephid’s requirement for a sign-and-trade exactly (Beasley, Blount/Haslem’s expiring, #1 pick), but Riley would never, never do that, especially with 2010 space being so sacred to him.

    There has to be a breaking point. Odom has to come to terms with the fact that he’s going to get a huge, huge paycut if he doesn’t take this offer, and he’s probably not going to be somewhere that has major championship aspirations (as most of the contenders have burned their MLE already).

  35. the other Stephen (1:53 p.m.): Assuming that was meant for me–there’s no reason that Odom’s situation should be different (if by that you mean that it’s not wholly rational or based on complete information). The only consequence of that is that it isn’t a classic game theory situation, which was the metaphor that opened the original post.

    (I used to refer to other posters by number, too, but with moderation that gets too confusing. So now I use a combination of name and posting time.)

  36. Lamar will not find a better situation than what he has here. Where else can he have the beach and the life, come off the bench, turn on the cruise control, and show up here and there on big games and be hailed a hero and big contributor who’s worth every dime?

    SIGN. IT. NOW.

  37. For those of you always quoting PER to show how LBJ is better than Kobe, how do you justify a $10 Million dollar prize tag for someone with a PER of about 15-16 ever since he joined the lakers?

  38. 12, there is actually a strategy in game theory that my professor dubbed “threatening to blow up the world,” which is a very common strategy in Hawk-Dove. Without delving too much into game theory, Player 1 “threatens to blow up the world” by choosing an option that would be bad for both Player 1 and Player 2 in order to prevent Player 2 from choosing a particular option.

    In our case, Lamar Odom would threaten to go elsewhere, even though he would be taking less money in a much worse location, just because he knows it will hurt the Lakers to. The Lakers, fearing this, will in turn choose to up their offer, as opposed to holding firm, all due to Lamar’s threat to leave.

    In this way, it’s perfectly rational for Lamar to threaten to go elsewhere, because he’ll get the most benefit out of it.

  39. the other Stephen July 14, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    sorry brian, i was referencing my own post. my thoughts are pretty homespun. having focused on public choice and political economy in undergrad, i’m quite alright with not thinking about game theory for a while. folks, what I think would be a truly interesting topic is how various forms of a new collective bargaining agreement could/should change incentives for the combinations of groups and individuals both inside and outside of the nba.

  40. That’s a new thought about Lamar, Zephid, never thought of him as North Korea …

  41. maybe each of us fans can donate 20 bucks so that lakers can upper the offer to 10mil, just to get Odom signed.

  42. PalaNi – I donate about $300 per game already for my season tickets.

  43. The Dude Abides July 14, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Supposedly the Lakers have offered just north of $9 million per season. He made $11.5 million last season, so that’s about a 20-22% cut in pay. If it’s all about length, then offer him three years at $9m and a player option of $7m for the fourth year. That should do the trick.

  44. @16

    I respectfully disagree. Just because those teams were foolish enough to pay players more than they were worth (especially Barg, yikes), in light of this economic climate, does not mean the Lakers should do that…especially given their luxury tax situation. I want LO just as much as the next fan, but I have to be realistic in my expectations. Expecting our owner to pay $20 mil for LO is not realistic.

  45. Marion is a 4 time all-star and made 17 mil last year and he’s taking almost a 10 mil dollar pay cut and is he complaining? Geez, Lamar…grow up! you made over 70 mil in 6 years. Artest has only earned 45 mil over his entire 10 yr career and is he complaining. If anything, he’s underpaid. Damn you Lamar!

  46. Jane, #16, I second that

  47. oops..i meant Jane #44 RE:16

  48. Marc Stein says Cuban is possibly looking to do a sign-and-trade of Odom since Orlando matched on Gortat. Apologies if this is old news.

  49. Something I haven’t seen discussed is that if Odom leaves, it will force Bynum to step up. This could be a very good thing. As it stands now, Bynum has a crutch in LO, who will bail him out if he gets in early foul trouble or is just stinking up the joint. I believe that LO taking less money elsewhere will be an event that spurs Drew to take it to the next level. So either way, Lakers will be fine.

  50. I haven’t really heard of the hawk-dove thing but I was really big on the chicken game since it formed the core of my nuclear arms and international relations lessions.

    Anyway, chicken is a competition in risk taking. This game favors the bold and penelizes the safe.

    The lakers are backing down to LO’s threats of leaving and they’re going to lose at this rate. It is likely the Lakers will eventually take a stand and say “this is the last offer”. It could in fact be the last offer, but crediblity is likey to have been lost at that point. LO not believing the statement may still push for more money. Leaving both lakers and LO screwed if neither comes to an agreement. “Both sides crashing”

    The strategy the lakers should play is the “throw the steering wheel out the window” or “tying your hands”.

    The key to winning the chicken game is prove to the other guy that you are more determined than they are to kill yourself. What better way to show your determination than not being able to change course? Tying your hands foces the other player to make the decision to save both of you. Not dying > losing the game

    LO from what I gather, still hasn’t commited himself to an option. Lakers still have time to tie their hands before LO.

    They should release a statement to the media, give the offer, and prevent any way of changing it. Make sure it’s creditable and will make the lakers lose face if it doesn’t work.

    I think the agent will give in at that point since he’s already gotten more than he realistically should have. 28 mill for 3 years too high.

  51. It seems as if the fans are the ones hyperventilating. I trust mangement to make the right decision. So what it sounds like the majority of the post are saying that we can’t win without LO. Your driving this mans ego and his pockets, into thinking that he is the end of all. He could have been replaced earlier in free agency, but we remained passive in thinking that LO was true to his word in taking a home town discount. Now we are stuck in this game of chicken. If he continues to act like a rock star, then let him go elsewhere. We still would have 3 consistent players, maybe with LO gone Gasol would get his 15 to 20 touches. It just shows you that money, is more important than team to him. Let’ see how far along this goes before you stop calling him a team player.

  52. I’m thinking the Lakers would be willing to give LO around $9 million, but the amount of years is the hassle.

    I can’t see them wanting to give LO anymore than 3 years. No way do they want their 3 core guys getting big money at 35. Kobe’s fine, and Ron’s fairly cheap, but LO at 34-35 getting $9-10 mill? Uh -uh. No. Plus, they’ll have to extend Pau soon.

    LO’s agent is probably pushing the years.

    Dude Abides,

    I agree with an option year, but give the team the option year. It’ll put the onus on LO to have a strong season. If he does, they either pick it up, or he earns another decent contract with another team. Hell, even Rasheed Wallace got an MLE deal for 3 years after an *off* year (getting old, so I don’t know how off it really was).

  53. Zephid,
    Unless they call his bluff, a la Shaq.

  54. Odom is only “irreplaceable” if Gasol and Bynum are not healthy.

  55. Furthermore, threats are inherently bad for both parties or you would have already done it.

    The key to a threat succeding is credibility that you will actually do it.

    As mentioned, preventing yourself from choosing anything but the nuke the world option is the only way to credible threaten it.

  56. With Ammo’s contract comming off the books after this season, it’s basically a one year hit to give Lamar a little more, isn’t it, or am I missing something?

  57. KneeJerkNBA,

    I agree. Even though you’re only playing the advocate.

    Even worse than “Turk and Bargnani getting 10 mil…Millsap (a backup PF) has 8 mil on the table” is Anderson Varajeo possibly making $10 mill per for 5 years, and Chris Andersen making $5 mill for 5 years. Varajeo being Kwame Brown with heart, and Birdman being a one dimensional player who can’t play defense at all.

    Wrong place, wrong time for LO.

  58. I think the hold up is that Lamar wants a 5 year deal and the lakers are only offering 3. Also there have been reports by Chris sheridian of ESPN that the Lakers could get Beasley or Josh Howard in a sign and trade of Odom.

  59. Other than Mark Cuban, who is always blindly optimistic, is there any other GM that thinks they can pay Odom and expect him to come in there and give them the same hunger and drive he gave the Lakers this year?

    I think at least Pritchard in Portland is thinking (and rightly so) that the free-agent Odom coming to your team will not be the guy you just saw on the Lakers.

    The combination of a new offense, new teammates, new coaching dynamic, new city, time away from his family, and Lamar’s career-long tendency to be passive when he’s not completely comfortable will ensure that you get a guy that’s at best 70%-80% of what you saw on the Lakers.

    I think Mark Cuban and possibly Pat Riley, who will never believe that he could fail to motivate anyone to do their best, are the only possible places for Lamar to go, and neither of those teams can give him more money than the Lakers.

    So sign and trade is the only way, and neither of those teams have anything that the Lakers want.

  60. j.d. Hastings July 14, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Josh Howard? Not that I have anything against him, but he plays the same position as Kobe/Artest. And Odom plays the same position as Dirk/Marion.

    Beasley is intriguing long term but won’t make us better, and we’d have to get someone else to make salaries match.

    Is Sheridan speaking about things he’s heard or speculating about possibilities?

  61. Doesn’t Udonis Haslem have an expiring contract?

  62. @exhelodrvr (3:26 p.m.): Personally, I don’t think “irreplaceable” is an either-or kind of thing, so maybe that’s not quite the right word. While I find Lamar as frustrating as much as the next Lakers fan, I also think that people tend to underestimate the value of having a polymorphic team. A little paradoxically, it means the ability to play your own game without worrying too much about what the other team is able to throw at you.

    Going into the Finals, despite the focus on the ability of the Lakers to match up with the Magic, I felt it would be much harder for the Magic to match up with the Lakers, because the Lakers can change things up much more readily. Whereas with the Magic, you pretty much know what you’re going to get. They’re just not that versatile in terms of what they can go after you with.

    The Lakers *are* that versatile. I think a large part of that is the Human Box of Chocolates. And actually, a lot of Odom’s versatility comes out because Pau and Andrew are *not* hurt. If Odom is relied upon to be the guy, he can do that (as he showed earlier this season), but the Lakers are more predictable as a result. Predictable is OK during the regular season, where matchups are not as important and teams barely have time to prepare for you before they move on to the next team, but not so much in the playoffs.

    As a result, market value may be deceptive because I’m not so sure that Lamar is as valuable on a team that doesn’t have a guy like Pau, especially. At the same time, the Lakers probably suffer without Lamar, even if they get someone who’s statistically about the same. Ultimately, it’s in both sides’ interests to get this done. It’ll be interesting to see how things pan out.

  63. @j.d. (3:56 p.m.): Not sure there’s much of a difference there. I would really emphasize something that Kurt has said a number of times: Anything rumors or speculations you hear in the media are there for a reason. *Someone* has an axe to grind, and despite the usual rumblings about columnists having to get something out the door, my suspicion is that it’s typically not the media themselves.

    I don’t think it means much more than such a thing is theoretically possible. If someone reports that a conversation was had, it could still be something like: “Can we interest you in–?” “Nope.” Click.

  64. This is where “compromise” has to be made on both sides.

    Obviously, LO doesn’t want $9 mil for 3 years. He probably wants $10 mil for 5 years. They need to come to an agreement at something like $9.5 for 4. Yes, we’re overpaying, but this is the time when you say…let’s meet at the half-way point. Sure, that means $16 million (with luxury tax) more for the Lakers and $12 million less for LO. It’s close enough.

    Get the deal done. LO does have a lot to lose. If he signs MLE for 5 years, that’s only $33 million. He can sign 38 mil for only 4 years. That’s for playing for championship in LA…means more endorsement $$$ for LO, too.

    When millionaire players and billionaire owners can’t agree to terms for $30-40 million contract in this economy, the only losers are the fans who temporarily forgot about their dire financial situation because of the Lakers championship but now face the economic reality of foreclosures and job losses.

    Do you think the fans have reason to be bitter if this deal doesn’t happen?

  65. I watched the Mark Cuban interview on NBATV yesterday and he didn’t say they were looking for a sign and trade necesssarily (unless I missed it).

    He was going over “plan B” after Gortat was matched by Orlando. He said they were talking with ‘everyone’ and gave names including LO’s.

    I even thought “LO’s not going to play for the MLE so that takes Dallas out of it”.

  66. I disagree that Lamar is contingency for Gasol or Bynum if they go down. Lamar is a “just incase” plan for Luke, Sasha, Farmar, and the bench mob.

    Every championship team needs a consistent impact player off the bench. The Celtics had Posey. The Spurs have Ginobli. The 3peat teams had Big Shot Rob. Last season the Lakers had the luxury of chosing between Ariza and LO to be that player.

    Take LO away, and we rely on Luke to stay healthy all year and be the floor general for the bench mob. Same goes for Sahsa, Farmar, or any other seasoned Laker we have that isn’t starting. We need LO back to have a consistent bench, and we need a consistent bench to win a championship.

  67. I am not going to guess where Sheridan got the sign and trade idea, or if it was his own idea, but talking here at Summer League you can be sure it is not coming from the Lakers side of the house. That’s not what they want, and you’d have to offer a stupid deal to get them to take it. Plus, think about it with Dallas, do you really think they would strike a fair deal with a team they think is a fellow competitor for the NBA title?

  68. The hawks traded their rights to a pretty good int’l player(david andersen) to the rockets for cash and a 2nd rounder. Too bad, he might’ve been an ok, inexpensive replacement for LO.

  69. Dunk Specialist July 14, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    To me Lamars worth is more dependent on Bynum. Bynum hasn’t been healthly since he got hurt, but look at how much Lamar was used in the beginning of the year before Bynum went down. Lamar was playing like 25 minutes. Now remember that Artest is strong enough to guard many 4s and I think Lamar plays less next year. Suddenly $9 million plus (really 18 million plus) for an insurance policy is a lot. Few teams have two great bigs, which is why LA was so good up front (having 3), but LA would be fine with just Bynum and Gasol. They would lose more games this year but wouldn’t take them out from being a title team. So I actually think the FO is in a better position than people seem to think. Also remember that Lamar only wants to live near the beach and is best friends with Artest. There is a reason no GM is offering Lamar a contract. Lamar will be back after making the Lakers (and us fans) sweat it out. Don’t worry so much, look at the facts.

  70. Warren Wee Lim July 14, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Love the post Zephid. Just a slight correction though, the Lakers may have used Bird rights or the 120% rule on Shannon Brown rather than the Bi-annual exception which I believe is still available for us.

    Other than that, bravo.

  71. The Lakers are in an inferior negotiating position because of Portland. If they push an ultimatum at Lamar with $9M, Lamar won’t have to cut the nose too much if he signs with Portland for slightly less. If I am Prichard, I wait for LA to polarize Lamar with a take-it-or-leave-it and then I give Lamar a face saving offer for $8-9M and ~4 years, laden with poison provisions such as big signing bonus and upfront money.

    The Lakers know this, which is why they can only (emptily) hint at an ultimatum, not actually give one. For now.

    Lamar has a different predicament. If he waits for Portland and Portland goes after him, he’s got mad leverage. However, if POR is just lukewarm or less toward him, the Lakers get to equalize (LA can’t lower the offer, only stabilize it).

    Possible scenarios: (a) Lamar accepts the Laker offer on the table (slightly improved) right before the Milsap money gets freed up by Utah. This would happen if he knows that Portland will not show real interest, while LA can’t yet be sure. Or,
    (b) Lamar delays and talks to POR, so Lakers have to up $/years or lose him. Buss refuses to overpay (the typical outcome of any open auction game). Lamar ends up in Portland. Double loss for LA. Which leads to (c) a surrender offer by LA. Lamar stays.

    Other, less likely scenarios involve (d) Lamar to MIA, where he’s highly valued, or somewhere else with 2010 cap mobility, in a 1-year deal. Or (e) an obscene offer to Buss for a Lamar sign-and-trade.

  72. #69
    “LA would be fine with just Bynum and Gasol”

    Not against Boston’s KG, Perkins and Wallace.

  73. my sentiments exactly, zephid.

    in the end, Lamar is being reasonable and smart, and has avoided much media hoopla that might have hurt his naive image.

    very smart.

    but, we’re talking buss here, who is an avid poker player. there are times you just fold despite all the money in the pot (in this case, Lamar’s capacity as a player) and just fold to cut losses. knowing when to fold is the most important aspect of poker, and I think we’re past that point.

    I think we could even argue that the loss of Odom will help jumpstart Bynum’s development, and give the bench guys something to work for.

    All the while keeping our Lakers alert and hungry.

  74. i ageee.. with your real estate agent.. make a fair offer and walk away.. ive hoped for awhile that the lakers would pay odom if nothing else because of his loyalty and sacrifices.. but if he’s asking for 10mil thats double his market value (which is probably closer to the MLE).. n thats over-paying and the lakers shd just walk away.. even given his value to the team and intangibles he brings. i thought 8-9 would be fair.. a paycut no doubt but a huge premium over his market value..

    im not sure odom is worth the extra revenue from playoff games etc.. this team sans odom is still a contender.. w/him they’re favorite but w/o they’re still a contender.. 20 mil (incl tax) is basically very very expensive insurance for bynum.

  75. Beasley’s upside intrigues me actually, but we’re obviously better off in the short run with Odom. Only thing I could see Miami offering that would really have our front office taking a good, long look is Beasley, Haslem’s expiring, and a first round pick for Odom. All that said, I’m not sure where Sheridan is getting this from — Miami or Odom’s agent. If it is the former, then it really is interesting because Riley has held his 2010 cap space as his golden egg, hence his refusal to sign free agents besides pursuing Iverson for a one-year deal. Odom certainly won’t lack for motivation in Miami, where he enjoys playing, but he’s going to be quite a ways from a championship, as the trade will eat into Riley’s 2010 space.

  76. breaking news:

    reporting on twitter that the Lakers took the deal off the table for Odom.

    What does that mean?!! Why are both sides so dam stubborn!

  77. Thanks, Jacqueline (76),

    If true, that’s the best news I’ve heard all day.

    Mike (74), looks like Buss remembers how to do real estate!

  78. why is that the best news? lol

  79. I will absolutely kiss Mitch and Dr. Buss if they pull the rug out from LO!! I LOVE it!!!! Kick your sorry butt out the door!!!! So go to Portland or wherever else you want to go!!! If you can’t accept a more than fair offer – and you want to get every cent from Dr. Buss – hit the road!! Don’t these idiots learn from what just happened to TA?!?!/

    Please let this be true. Yes, Lakers are better with him but not at that price. Mitch will get us someone better in the near future. Yes, we may suffer one year – but there are players out there that haven’t won a ring, have a ton of talent, and want to be a Laker!!!!

    Even with LO – it does not guarantee the repeat. However, giving him $10mil/5 years will kill the Lakers in the long run.

    Go play with yourself LO!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!

  80. Just because the calculation for sucess is L+P+B one year does not necessarily make it so the next year. The next year L+P+B may in fact be a failure and the correct calculation could have been P+B+M or whatever.

    Everyone seems to think that the Lakers have no options. Well, there are always options. Remember that there is a trade deadline next year and we have expiring contracts. The bad teams in the league are going to look to dump salary as the only teams viable for a championship are: Spurs/Lakers/Nuggets/Celtics/Cavs/Magic. There are some great players on the non-viable teams. A lot of those players can be had as absolute STEALS next year when the trade deadline approaches.

    I wouldn’t sell the options that the lakers have short…they’ve got options and they’ve got time.

  81. 76,

    Specifically whose twitter did you see that Jacqueline?

  82. Kaveh – I feel the same way!! Lakers ALWAYS have options. Many good players want to be a Laker and play for this amazing franchise. It’s not like we’re giving LO 6 mil/year – even thought that is what he is worth. They’re giving him way more but he wants to drag this out. Even if he does end up signing – he has turned off a LOT of fans. He said he was willing to take a pay cut but that was all BS. He just wants the money.

    I do not want a player with his inconsistent game and all to put on the Laker uniform. He is a disgrace already!!!

    Lets close the door on this and look for options in the future!!!

    Looks like Mitch/Buss need to keep showing these fools they are not going to get punked around!!!!

  83. With Odom the Lakers have the most length and versatility in the front court. Everyone here wants to hand the keys to Bynum, who has only shown what we fans affectionately call “flashes”. Either the Lakers overpay or lose a great asset. Damned if you, damned if you don’t. I don’t see any teams lining up to provide the champions an easy Plan C.

  84. Weak Sauce,

    The money Lamar gets comes from the ownership of the lakers. It is not your money and it does not belong to you.

    Secondly, if you want to use your twisted logic of you pay them and they pay Lamar, that’s not even true. They pay Lamar and later on during the season, you decide whether the games are worth your money.

    And lastly, there can be no “our” money. We are not a collective –we all can’t own the same money as though us fans are one being. In fact, if it was my money instead of giving it to Lamar, i would purchase myself a nice 10m house on the ocean somewhere.

  85. Some of you are delusional if you think potentially not re-signing LO is in any way, shape, or form a “win” for the Lakers or good for the team. Losing both Ariza and LO, even with the signing of Artest, is a downgrade any way you look at it. It’s not like we rolled through the playoffs this year either.

    This offseason reminds me of some questionable decisions by the FO with Horry and Fisher in particular before. We had an option on Horry for 5 million the summer we signed Malone and Payton. The FO declined the option for Horry and low and behold Slava Medvedenko was playing meaningful minutes a good portion of the year including the last 3 games of the Finals. Letting Fisher go to the Warriors and waste his prime years in GS (and Utah) was a bad move too. How many PGs did we try before Fisher came back?

    I don’t want to overreact or anything, but this has been ridiculous. Trevor was one thing as we had the mid-level still and some alternatives. There’s no one out there to replace LO…even in trade (which would compromise depth and who would we trade anyway that could bring back a decent piece?). No time to be cheap…just off the 4 years and get it over with. I don’t see what’s so bad with 5 either…just decrease the money slightly or give him a signing bonus. The last thing I want to see is LO going to Portland or Dallas.

  86. Monday Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said that he wasn’t sure the organization and Lamar Odom’s representative were “on the same page.”

    Now it looks as if the Lakers offer to the free agent forward has been taken off the table, according to our Elliott Teaford, who is attending the Lakers summer league game in Las Vegas.

  87. Ugh, I don’t know what’s going to happen now,

    but chalk it up as a loss to science and advanced mathematics.

  88. by taking the deal off the table, buss is saying “don’t jerk me around; remember who’s the boss here.” it didn’t hurt anything except maybe his image to leave the deal there. I hope this isn’t a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Lamar played with fire and got burned.

  89. Mike Penberthy July 14, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    “Lakers owner Jerry Buss is upset that Odom and his representative, agent Jeff Schwartz, haven’t made contact with the organization regarding its $9-million per season offer for three years, one source said Tuesday.”
    “The source also said Buss was not happy that Odom and Schwartz have been having talks with the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat about a deal, but have refused to talk to the Lakers.”

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-lakers-lamar-odom15-2009jul15,0,5773043.story

    Doesn’t make sense. Why wouldn’t he at least say yes or no to the offer?

  90. About to fold, Buss is, but not in the way that makes Lamar win the game…

  91. One thing we all have to remember. We fans are NOT businessmen. We really don’t have a clue. We are used to playing with Monopoly money or making our stupid bets with buying lottery tickets.

    The Lakers are a business – and a very successful one at that.

    Let’s leave the poker to the real players and just wait to see what comes of all this. When we get our shorts all twisted we say all sorts of things.

    We are going to start next year with a full team – with or without Lamar. We will learn to work with what we have. Ron Artest will be an energy guy who hasn’t yet won a ring. We have lots to be thankful about. Let’s not blow it all up now because we can’t get absolutely everything we wish.

  92. There is always the possibility that the Lakers are trying to up the pressure. This is a negotiation. Trying to get better info.

    But if you think the Lakers are better off Odom you are nuts. For the Lakers to win a title without him EVERYTHING has to break right. And many people here think they can’t (scouts etc. at Summer league)

  93. I’m already sad that we lost Trevor, but to lose Lamar as well? I don’t even want to go there. I hope this is just a negotiation tactic and he resigns with us soon.

  94. If I were the Lakers, I would communicate that the $9 million offer is dead at midnight and that every day after that, the offer decreases by $500K/year.

    Both parties have every right to pay hardball…it’s part of the game. But this game could end with no winners….

  95. well lamar i hope you enjoy the MLE, as well as your role coming off the BENCH in Dallas, or at best you could get the same deal you would have gotten in LA except you’ll be in portland, and there fans will hate you because your gonna be eating up there cap space for next year.

    i think mitch or phil said the hardest thing to deal with after a championship is the “give me more attitude” well we have seen it twice.

    at least we have ammo’s expiring contract and farmar to sweeten a deal to make some sort of trade.

    this happens in many businesses, employees start to think that everything will fall apart without them and they act like they have the power, and next thing you know there gone. Buss has been doing this for too many years to be scared of odom leaving. this guy let shaq leave, and was ready to send kobe packing.

    It was fun knowing you lamar, peace….

  96. Well now we have a real situation. I am fine with whatever happens at this point because much like virtually all of LO time here, what he will do in the end is unknown.

    Mitch you better have that plan B ready to roll!

  97. hopefully we can get haslem and beasley for odom

  98. Is it really even plausible that Riley would take Odom back for Beasley and Haslem and a pick?

    I can’t even wrap my mind around this.

  99. If the Lakers lose Trevor and Lamar (2 of the more popular players), that really puts a big stink on this championship – Don’t ya think??

    That’s like finding out your wife is cheating on you during your honeymoon.

  100. Yes Man, we are on the same wavelength because that is exactly what I said on the previous thread!

    LO has no options…keep decreasing the offer until it gets to the mid-level…then he can go somewhere else…man these players and their agents are morons…

  101. Shaky,

    He needs to do something to convince Wade he’s serious about contending, as he’s desperate for Wade to sign an extension this summer. It’s plausible that it could happen, as Wade loves Odom and Odom loves Miami, and with Blount’s and O’Neal’s contracts coming off their cap, they still can throw a fairly large contract at possible free agents in 2010. Again, this is naturally hypothetical, but bears looking into.

  102. Two agents (and perhaps one player – LO) have pushed the Laker buttons in two entirely different ways. The result seems to be the same – remember Shaq ? If you are going to play hardball with the Lakers you better be prepared to play somewhere else. Just saying…

    I don’t know where this will end, but agents should be on notice that the Lakers play the game only to a point. When you reach that point, they are ready to leave the table.

  103. No way I give LO more than 3 years…he is wildly inconsistent and can not be counted on against tough teams like the Celtics…Bynum is the future and he has to sink or swim…with LO around, Bynum always has an out…good riddance greedy fool…

  104. Okay, hold horses.

    I have dug up this Chris Sheridan “report” and he says Dallas and Miami are interested in a sign-and-trade, and the Lakers might listen IF they put Josh Howard or Michael Beasley into the equation. No offers made yet.

    Yes, any trade offer with Beasley in it, you have to check out carefully. But the offer is NOT being reported as made.

    Don’t know what to make of the Lakers “pulling the offer”, but I don’t see what they get out of it except as posturing about how serious they are that that offer is their top.

    http://videos.espn.com/m/video/25192431/latest-on-iverson-odom.htm

  105. You guys really like this “decreasing the offer every day” strategy? I’m not going to get into game theory post about what kind of incentives this gives to your future free agents and potentials, I’ll just say this:

    Nobody does this in American pro sports to my knowledge.

    I’m not saying it’s stupid. But it sure is curious that this option isn’t explored… ever. Draw your own conclusions, GM’s.

  106. I hope this is just premature dejection, but losing both TA and LO will take a lot of heart and soul out of this team. The Lakers will be competitive regardless, but more than a bit of joy of rooting for the 08-09 Lakers will have been lost for me.

  107. id prefer the lakers keep odom but if we can get beasley the hit is not so bad

  108. Odom: “I raise you one 10mio offer from miami”

    Buss: “call”

    i watched abit of high-stakes poker w/jerry buss.. he is a very very tight player. even a little over-cautious. he only plays when he knows he’s going to win.

  109. 107 reportedly Lakers are upset because he’s willing to talk sign and trades with Miami and Dallas but not responding on our own 9 mil for 3 years offer…..this according to the K brothers as well.

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2009/07/lakers-pull-offer-to-lamar-odom.html#more

  110. The ball is in Odom’s court now. I wonder what his next move will be. I still see him signing with the Lakers. I mean, why do all this posturing if you are just going to sign for a long term deal that has less value?

    The Lakers won’t want Josh Howard and his brittle body. Miami is obviously the best fit especially if Michael Beasley is in the deal.

  111. It’s been a long time since I was taught ‘game theory’ in school…..but I’m not saying this should be regular practice per se. Just in this one instance when the Lakers have a set max target (apparently $9 million and that’s stretching) and the player doesn’t have many better (if any) options in the open market.

    We know Lamar loves the beach, winning championships, and his friends with Artest. Any sane person would grant a ‘hometeam discount’. Sure he can take the extra $1 million and play in Portland (cold), Dallas (boring and no beach); or Miami (not a contender) – but will that make him happier?

  112. It’s easy for fans to spend an owners money, or tell a player how much he should accept in his contract. But the reality is our opinions don’t mean a damn thing in these talks.

    From my worthless viewpoint, if Odom decides to leave L.A. by holding out for $10 million when Buss was willing to pay him $9, then Odom’s making a mistake.

    Dallas isn’t a contender, and it would take a lot more than a guy like Gortat to put that team in contention to come out of the west. Kidd isn’t getting any younger and his new deal is an albatross, and really, what has Dirk shown lately? Josh Howard’s good for getting high and making stupid comments, and Cuban’s attitude will undermine whatever commitment a coach can coax out of that lot. It’s no coincidence Dallas melts down when it matters every year – if your owner won’t man up and act like an adult, why should anyone on the floor.

    With Dallas dismissed, that leaves Miami. OK, it’s got the beach and nightlife covered, and we know the organization likes LO.

    But honestly, what chance does that team have to contend anytime soon? They have no center and no size to match up with Orlando, Boston or Cleveland now that Shaq’s a Cav. Wade is great, but we’ve seen how many One Man Show’s can win in June. Best case scenario there is a Heat team that resembles the 2006 Lakers – first round and some fun, but nothing more. Worst case, Wade bolts after next season and Lamar gets to enjoy the sun while winning 18 games a year.

    Or stay in L.A., contend for the title for the next three seasons at minimum while making $9 million a year to be a team’s third or fourth option. Do guest shots on “Entourage,” live the Hollywood life and be near your kids while playing alongside an All-Star center, a future All-Star center and the game’s best player (arguably, with respect to LBJ) and the league’s best coach.

    Seems like a no-brainer to me.

  113. It looks like the ball is now in Odom’s court. 3yrs $9 million per season I think is fair. I do not want to see Odom leave, he is a vital part to the Lakers repeat chances. I am till hopeful somethig can be worked out.
    the hardest part about playing chicken is knowing when to flich. The Lakers have not flinched yet

  114. Yes Man,

    Ignoring the championship implications, Odom loves Miami. He definitely will be happy if he ends up there.

    If Miami offers Beasley and an expiring, then the Lakers may have to bite here.

  115. BCR – I understand the LO loves Miami….but you would think he loves LA just as much – plus the benefits of being on a championship contending team.

    Doesn’t he want to enjoy the experience of playing on a team defending their title?

    Doesn’t he want to play with his childhood buddy from Queens?

    But we also know Lamar is lazy and maybe he’s satisfied with just winning 1 ring. Only LO and his agent know.

  116. Dr. Buss is not likely to put that offer back on the table again, so if LO wants to play for the Lakers it will be for LESS than $9M per…another clueless agent…don’t they pay attention?

    As for sign and trades, I could see a Miami deal working if they send out Ammo with LO for Haslem and Beasley, but that would still be a hefty tax payment, so not sure whether Lakers would just rather let LO walk and sign someone like Gooden.

  117. why would lakers pass up the opportunity of beasley tviper?

  118. Looks like LO wants a longer term contract:

    ramonashelburneLakers offer to Odom was either three years and $30 million or four years and $36 million. Odom rejected both.

  119. It appears to me that Dr. Buss believes he is entitled to a certain level of respect given his track record as one of the best owners in sports. And really, I can’t argue with him.

  120. 114 I’m not sure if talking trade is ok now, but in that scenario, it wouldn’t be haslem and beasley. It would more likely be Beasley and James Jones who has a partial guaranteed contract and can be waived to save on the tax payment. It’s all speculation at this point. I know Haslem comes off the books next year as well, but I have a hard time seeing Miami parting with their co captain. Anyways lets say Miami gave him the full MLE for 5 years. That’s about 34 mil…..pay cut yes but also assures a longer payment.

  121. One thing about Miami, however, is that they have been reluctant to burn their 2010 cap number…are they really willing to do so for LO? I seriously doubt it. He doesn’t put them into the upper tier in the East.

    So that leaves Dallas? Granted, there is no state income tax and that saves some $ off the top, but Dallas has nothing the Lakers want, so he will have to take the mid-level. Either way, I don’t see the addition of LO putting DAL over the top.

  122. Serious question for whoever wants to answer:

    Do you believe the Lakers can be a better team without Odom while replacing him with a player that is currently an unsigned free agent that could only be signed with the veteran’s minimum?

    I only ask because it seems like the frustration that we all have with Odom’s negotiation is spilling over into what’s actually best for the team on the court. Also, I would argue that Odom is a core player for this team; that he is one of our best four players whose presence when coupled with Kobe, Pau, Bynum, and now Artest should keep us a favorite for the title for years to come. My point is this: what is that worth? I mean, this isn’t those Kobe/Shaq teams that were filled in with lesser talented role players and/or aged veterans. All the players I mentioned are either approaching or in their prime years. I know we have cap concerns, but dumping LO is not the prudent move. You can make that argument for players that are not core players, but guys like Odom really are important to much of what we do on offense and defense. Guys like that are pretty hard to replace. I really do hope that all of this takes a positive turn in retaining LO.

  123. 118 That’s true about Miami and the cap number, especially with the cap number falling they may only have enough money to sign one top tier free agent, but on the other hand D Wade’s been griping about seeing a team put together before he signs his contract extension.

  124. As insane as I think they are for rejecting $36 million (according to Ramona Shelburne), LO’s reps have been fairly classy throughout the entire process. No ridiculous threats, no painting of the Laker front office as ungrateful or stingy, basically no media jockeying at all.

    Which is why it’s unfair to compare Trevor’s agent to LO’s agent. David Lee could learn a thing or two from Schwartz et al.

  125. 119 of course Odom is a core part of the team and its exactly what we did not want to happen–losing both TA and LO. We’re definitely not getting anyone on the cheap to match his production. We’re in a pickle at this point b/c if Bynum goes down again we’re pretty much screwed. However, if LO’s really thinking about taking 5/34 mil instead of 3/30 or 4/36……I don’t know what to say. I don’t see a team breaking the bank for him. If we do lose him, we had better got something tangible in return.

  126. Darius,

    I think we all more than agree that retaining Odom is best for our play on the court. I don’t believe that was ever really an item of dispute.

    What everyone here is worried about is handicapping our team with another burdensome contract for a player likely to decline as he gets more and more on the wrong side of thirty.

  127. As much as I like dominant teams, I also like underdogs and teams that go through hardships.

    So, there is a small part of me that thinks it would be more interesting, more endearing if we start next season without Trevor AND Odom.

    Adversity grew, and we, as a team, suffered, with the only room for growth coming from within.

    If we can pull it out, it will be a magical season, and will also right Artest’s career and add yet another line to Kobe’s resume.

    Sure, in pure basketball terms and lockerroom camaraderie, loss of Odom will hurt.

    But, if we can overcome this, and if our bit players make the best of the opportunity to play minutes that Odom played…

  128. Darius, I think LO is a luxury, but ultimately he is undependable and next season is going to be a much tougher road to the title.

    I believe that with the current core, the Lakers can sign a vet to come off the bench and not lose too much. Of course, this assumes that Bynum is healthy and progressing, but it has to happen sometime, right?

  129. Lakers need to strike while the iron is hot. They have a short window to win a couple more championships before Kobe hits a wall. They need to find a way to make this work if they consider Odom a key player.

    Boy…Bynum better be worth all that money he’ll be making. It’s his contract (and Sasha/Luke) that is causing this mess.

  130. Harold,

    So to your argument…why don’t we just trade Kobe while we’re at it? Wouldn’t that be even more endearing?

  131. 126 You hit the nail on the head. Not so much Sasha with only 2 years left, but Luke’s deal is exactly why you don’t pay true role players the entire MLE. Think about all those guys who got huge MLE deals in that same summer Luke, Kapono, Matt Carroll…all bad deals. I agree that we can’t go through another down era, but you have to look towards the future as well, hopefully by not compromising the present too much.

  132. Dr. Buss will rather be lean and mean than over extended and bloated. Both TA & LO have already shown some “disease of me” that infects 1st time champions. LO is the third option and in two years will be the 4th option behind Socks Bynum. You don’t pay more than $10 million to a 4th option. Also, you extend a courtesy to your negotiating party when they come up on their offer and voluntarily move closer to what you stated needed to be done. If there is no deal by Sunday LO is gone, IMHO.

  133. Holy crap Lakers pulled their offer from Odom. Now he’ll be begging for that 3yr deal @ 9mil a season.

  134. IMHO? what does that mean?

  135. Pretty sure someone has already mentioned this but does anyone know how much more LO could expect to recieve endorsements wise in LA? I’d imagine it would not be insignificant particularly on a championship team. Monetarily he should stay in LA no doubt, its ridiculous to think otherwise…

  136. IMHO = In My Humble Opinion

  137. apparently odom’s deal was 30/3 or 36/4 and he turned down both. if this is true he is an idiot!!!

    this is a guy who has been overpaid for years, gets a new offer that is overpaying him, and his agents still wants more.

    a few years back odom was thinking about retiring early, “i will be one of those guys who walk away from the game too early.” now he wants to be paid 10 mill when he’s 35.

    how about you call Dr. Buss yourself, tell him your agent went crazy and ask for your job back.

    not too long ago players used to negotiate there own contracts, now it seems like they just let there agents run the show, they get way too passive.

    odom also recently said that this contract id for his children’s children, and there security. How about you take that 30 mill put it on top of that 60 mill you just made, invest in some real estate, save the rest and see if your kids kids will be taken care of.

    http://twitter.com/ramonashelburne

  138. 126, I think I’d trade fans like you first, then those who can’t read, but if push came to shove and Kobe does not want to sign with the Lakers again, then that’s that.

    I’ll blame the FO if they didn’t make a reasonable offer, but if players leave despite that, you have two choices:

    Follow the player and root for the new team

    or

    Follow the team and still root for your team.

    End.

  139. Let’s be clear. This is not over by any means.

    Possibility A: The Lakers and Lamar find something to agree about. That gives Laker fans the possibility that most of us took for granted. I think all of those possibilities have been laid out over and over again, and range from $6 million (or less) from three to five years to $10 million (or more) for one to five years. I’d be pleased for the Lakers by such a deal at the low end and deeply disappointed for all of us at the highest end.

    Posibility B: Lamar simply walks. That will require the Lakers to rethink their team–something they would have to do anyway. The Laker luxury tax situation would be suddenly tolerable, and they clearly would be on the lookout for a trade before midseason involving expiring contracts+ (at about the MLE)–which wouldn’t increase the luxury tax. This would be an immediate blow, but very good for the future.

    Possibility C: To get more than the MLE for Lamar, another team offers a sign and trade. There could even be a multiple team deal in which the Lakers were left with cash (a la Orlando/Turk. Those would need to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

    It’s not over until it’s over.

  140. I hope that pulling the offer doesn’t mean that they will no longer engage Odom’s agents in talks. Lamar was, and hopefully will be, a key part of the Lakers success. I can understand the Lakers frustration if they were offering 3yrs/30 million or 4yrs/36 million, and they couldn’t get a call back because the agents were to busy talking to Dallas or Miami.
    If Lamar is no longer going to be a Laker I don’t see any point in the Lakers doing a sign and trade unless a ridiculous offer, like the ones mentioned above that included Beasely and a number one pick, or a top flight point guard is offered. I think most executives in the NBA are smart enough to realize that Lamar is a hugely talented and valuable NBA player, but not one for which you mortgage your future. I hope he is a Laker by this time next week.

  141. LO is turning down 3/30 and 4/36 For what? 5/36 on mia and dal, wtf????
    F- odom, Buss is the man.

  142. Harold – I agree with you. I would rather they let LO walk then let him think he has this upper hand mentality – Lakers are offering him way more than what he is even worth. He is such an idiot – let him walk already.

    Yes – it would be interesting to see what Lakers would rise to the occasion. I even think Sasha will do much better this year. Don’t think he can be ice cold for 2 seasons long. Bynum obviously needs to step up his game – and I like that he won’t be able to depend on LO bailing him out.

    Think LO has already ruined his image with a lot of fans. Even if he returns, this has left a horrible feeling about him. Now people know all his talk was just a bunch of BS….it’s all about the money.

    Sad sad sad.

  143. In LO’s defense, how is it all a bunch of BS? He is already taking a pay cut if he goes to 10 million plus he sacrificed for the team by taking a lesser role in a CONTRACT YEAR. Who knows, if he didn’t take that lesser role maybe he could easily command higher now?

    I don’t think its especially likely that this is the case, but I also don’t think we should blame him if he wants his money, its not like Buss is struggling and LO thinks he is worth it. IMO whether he pays LO or not Buss is going to be making a profit next year, he is just haggling over his margin…

  144. JR,

    He was being paid around $11 million. $14 million was the cap number due to a trade kicker I believe. $9 million is way, way above market value already. It’s becoming a bit ridiculous.

  145. 137

    yes but value is a subjective thing.. its set by the market and unfortunately for odom the market is bad. unless ure jkidd n have leverage in the form of a competing offer u just gotta settle. there’re already tons of vets who have had to settle for the mle or some kind of huge pay cut. marion (closest comparison to odom) went from 17->6.

    if odom’s market value is 5-6.. asking for 10 is asking for double that. and if u think the lakers are trying to lowball him.. consider that because of tax tt 9mio offer is effectively 18 to keep the guy. and the profit margin on the lakers is buss only source of income (i think)..

    and odom was given the chance to be the #2 on the team a couple of years back.. but he didn’t produce like a #2 should.. so why shd he get paid like a #2?

  146. Sign and Trade for Boozer. Expiring contract. Hahaha

  147. JR,

    I really don’t think Odom would be getting better offers had he started the entire year. Don’t forget, he started for most of the year. Team scouts aren’t stupid. They know what to look for. They know he came off the bench for part of the year and that’s why his numbers are down a little. But they also know that he had a great off-season, too. If people aren’t offering more, it’s gotta be something else (age, inconsistency).
    I think Buss was being very generous offering $9 million. IMHO, Odom should’ve taken it.

  148. Buss seems mad about the whole situation. Looks like hes not having any of it.

    “If the two sides do begin negotiating again, Lakers sources said Buss, if he’s willing to talk, will lower his offer to Odom.

    Those same sources said Buss is a man of principle who sticks by his decision.

    Those sources were mindful that when Shaquille O’Neal said during an exhibition game in Hawaii in 2003, “Now, you’re gonna pay me,” while looking for a contract extension, Buss was angry and never forgot that.

    After the 2004 season, Buss traded O’Neal to the Heat, in a deal that brought Odom to the Lakers.”

    and again it’s the agent with all the power… sigh

    “Many in the Lakers’ organization believe that Odom wants to accept Buss’ offer — and so do those close to Odom — but he has failed to convince his agent.”

  149. I just love it when greed bites them in the ass. Now if he does even get an offer from the Lakers it will be less than what was out there for a week – for the taking!!! Man – what a total idiot!!!!

    Actually, I really hope Buss doesn’t go back to the table with LO already – move on and we’ll be better in the long run. There are plenty of talented players who want to play for the Lakers.

  150. All hell will break loose tomorrow in Lakerland. Oh god can’t you change time and slap Odom while you’re at it.

  151. “Many in the Lakers’ organization believe that Odom wants to accept Buss’ offer — and so do those close to Odom — but he has failed to convince his agent.”

    I have no idea as to the veracity of this report, but it’s ridiculous on its face. Lamar does not have to “convince his agent.” Lamar’s agent works for HIM. If Lamar wants the deal done, all he has to do is tell his agent to “do it.” Lamar is a 30-year old entrepreneur. This is not his first negotiation. He is not a naive and callow youth signing his first free agent contract. He cannot be intimidated by a man working for HIM. If he didn’t accept the Lakers’ generous offer, the responsibility lies with Lamar.

  152. Funny, if players have to convince agents to accept offers.

    I really thought it worked the other way around.

  153. 1) WOW. I am disappointed to see so many Lakers fans turn their backs on the players so quickly.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-lakers-lamar-odom15-2009jul15,0,5773043.story

    “Many in the Lakers’ organization believe that Odom wants to accept Buss’ offer — and so do those close to Odom — but he has failed to convince his agent.”

    LO wants to be here and he wanted to take the offer, it’s his agent that’s doing the rejecting. I’m not saying LO is worth or not worth that money, just saying the dude clearly wants to be here.

    2) Miami is not giving us Beasley + Udonis. Stop dreaming.

    3) Losing LO may mean we’re not the favorites, but I think this has great potential to become an addition by subtraction. We’ll see more minutes given to other players, who may just thrive. Sasha’s coming off a horrible season, but I think with more minutes his confidence and his touch will come back. Jordan is in a contract year (he wants to get paid, trust me) and I expect a stellar season from him. If not, we all know and love ShanWOW’s game. Andrew may flourish too, with a smaller line-up around him to give him space to operate inside. Ofcourse it could end up being the opposite, and subtracting Lamar could hurt us, but the potential for this turning out well is there. Keep in mind that Jordan won with Scottie and a bunch of role players. Kobe has a great big guy in Pau, as well as another potential big monster in Andrew, AND an hybrid enforcer with a good offensive game in Ron. If our role players come through, I still like our team more than any others.

  154. Odom isn’t really a part timer, i mean have you look at his +/-, he pretty much beat Kobe, but on another note, Odom is more like a super glue guy in the locker room, and considering that super clue as a part time is like considering kidd as a part timer…

  155. P.s.- i odoms so good lo lovers,whys he never even be an allstar one time? stop drinking the lala koolaid people,and pay for producers. Bad enough we have luke and sasha eat up 5 mil each for lil production,we dont need more of it. Too bad they cant pay on commsion in the nba..lol…

  156. I’m far from LO lover, just don’t find it fair that fans are so quick to turn on a guy who was undeniably integral to our success last year (and who apparently wants to be here)

    P.S.

    Using All-Star appearances as a way to judge the value of a player to a team pretty much disqualifies your opinion from any serious consideration.

  157. There has been a lot of smart thinking on this thread, but there was one single thing that caught my attention very strongly: if the money is not such an issue to the point of Lamar publicly stating that he would take a pay cut just to be able to stay in a team that is way over the luxury cap, why didn’t he take the money? This is the biggest enigma and I think will also be the key to how all this ends.

  158. There’s a lot of anger at Lamar, but to be honest we’re not on the inside. As Igor pointed out, there are some sources that believe Lamar isn’t doing the rejecting, but another stubborn agent. Of course no one knows how reliable those “sources” are. But if true, 1) Schwartz, get the stick out of your…you know. And 2) Why do players have such little control over their agents? If Lamar really wants to sign, I think he would have. His agent is probably just buying more time, telling him if he waits, Buss will fold.

    Buss is a master poker player, after all. He wasn’t going to keep upping his offer and give in. Taking the offer off the table was a good move, a message-sending type move. The sooner Schwartz understands that Buss isn’t going to be pushed around, the sooner we re-ink Lamar.

    Plus…$50/5 years? Agents really don’t know when to take something and be happy with it.

    Why do I have a picture of all agents now as short, fat, balding men with monocles who spend their time holed up in their offices counting and re-counting their money?

  159. Non of this makes any sense to me. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that LO could in any way, shape or form turn down either $9 mill/4 years or $10 mill/3 years. Not if it were straight up. Either he or his agent would have to be complete idiots to think they could get more.

    Even the ultimate ruthless contract hunting mercenary Carlos Boozer stayed in Utah after realizing the money wasn’t there, and the man was on the Redeem Team! No way LO’s camp doesn’t realize this either.

    It has to be something else. Something tells me that the numbers might seem right, but it must be an incentive laden deal (a la Varajeo) with team options for the last year. It has to be, in order for LO to turn it down. There can’t be any other possible explanation. It *has* to be incentives.

  160. Darius,
    “Do you believe the Lakers can be a better team without Odom while replacing him with a player that is currently an unsigned free agent that could only be signed with the veteran’s minimum?”

    Absolutely, IF Bynum stays healthy.

  161. it sounds like its LO’s agent that is holding up the deal right now.. im guessing his agent will basically get a cut of his contract? or if not being the agent who got his guy double his market value certainly raises your own market value.. might not be too dissimilar to ariza n david lee.. albeit with less bluffing and more slowplaying..

  162. I don’t think the Lakers can be better without Odom. One of the main reasons (other than Kobe of course) that the Lakers are so good is because of our long, athletic, versatile front court trio of Gasol/Bynum/Odom. Its the best front court in the NBA. Even if you give Bynum more minutes and he improves and plays well, losing Odom would mean that the front court is not very deep and not nearly as versatile. I don’t think a combination of extra minutes for Bynum and Powell will come close to making up for losing Odom.

    To me it seems the problem for Odoms agent is the length of the contract. Its uderstandable, Odom is 30 years old and is probably looking for a his last contract which is why he wants 5 years. He probably does not want to be a FA again at 33/34 yrs old where he would probably be looking at a small 2-3 year contract.

  163. If negotiations continue, and Buss actually offers Lamar less than the previous offer, that will end any and all negotiations, and Lamar will go play somewhere else. Even for less money, and even where there is no hope for rings or beaches.

    Losing Lamar would be a huge blow to the Lakers. I really think that it would be all but impossible to defend the title without Odom.

  164. excuse me igor? the point i was making was the guy who said lo was so great,etc. i was making an example of how average he can be. When motivated he can be very valuable to spell bynum and pau. Althou i swear pau never looks like he gets tired. Odom doesnt always give 100 pct.,where kobe,pau,artest do,and all star votes many time show that as do other awards which i dont believe hes ever gotten. One poster said his plus/minus is better than kobe! What? Why pay 9 mil to a part time effort guy? Will he be happy here taking a 5-6 mill paycut? I say no,he will sulk like he does after becoming the 6th man,and give spotty effort. I think thats the point us give him the boot bloggers are making,is he worth the 9 mil based on past effort? will he be hungry? Will he even change that awful sugar filled diet ?
    Im just keeping it real like mitch is,i dont even think they wanted or thought he was worth that much cash,and was way overpaid with that silly 14 mil. The statement he is making now is that im a selfish money grabber,and that dont spell great teamate to me. The things artest said do. I know basketball very welll having played and coached it igor,and rewarding his selfishness goes against everything phil stands for,and also dr buss 2..we can agree to disagree…pc

  165. harder but not impossible, we can get 11.3 pts,and 8 rebounds from artest,powell,morrison,luke. plus we dont know who we would go get with lamars money. A hustle player that can block shots and rebound would be nice. I think mihm might be free isnt he? we dont neeed more offense,and a smaller quicker lineup would cause matchup issues. Im not saying i dont want lo at all,im saying he can be replaced based on his numbers. Tim thomas was dumped wasnt he,him and kobe are buddys from the spike lee film talk…

  166. Darius,

    No doubt LO is a key player and we need him back – but at what price? 5 years and 50 million?

    Your significant other may be the most amazing person on the planet, but if he or she has a habit that is running you into debt 20 grand a month, you may want to walk away from the relationship.

    I think the Lakers (if the deals reported are accurate) made a generous offer to LO (in this market). They didn’t disrespect him. The team suffers on the court with his loss, but you can not overlook the issue of his price tag.

  167. Lamar was not making 14M last season. That was his cap number do to a trade Kicker, which I believe Buss paid up front after he was traded for. His actual salary was 11M so he would only be taking 2M pay cut if he signed for 9M.

    pcblack. Odom gives the team far more than his stats of 11.3 pts 8 rbs. If the Lakers do not sign Odom, they can not spend that money on anyone else because they do not have any money to spend on players other than minimum salary players. The reason they can offer Odom a large contract is because they own his bird rights. They would have to do a sign and trade to get another player to take Odoms spot.

  168. It never ceases to amaze me the misunderstanding of the agent-principal relationship. Odom’s agent works for, represents, has to obide by, and owes the highest level of loyalty to Odom. It’s not the other way around.

    Therefore this deal falling through because LO “failed to convince his agent” is ridiculous. Believe me, LO only has to say “yes” and the deal is done. It’s not the agent’s job to decide. Now, the agent is of course counseling LO on what’s best for him, and this likely where the problem is.

    All and all 4/36 million is a very fair offer given this economy and fair market value. Sorry LO, I think your a big part of this team, but if you’re rejecting this offer…you are replacable…and for less money.

  169. P.s.- also according to espn Odoms salry for 2009 was $14,148,596. I dont disagree we would be thin at bigs but we have options,and pau can log big minutes……pc

  170. Also the wheaties boxes with the team on it are in las vegas walmart stores so i bet there in la stores 2……..pc

  171. I think the issue for Lamar was mostly the years, not the amount. Frankly, if I were the Lakers, I would offer two contracts, 5 years $40 mil or 3 years $27 mil, and give Lamar the choice. Maybe throw in some player options into the 5 year deal.

    Keep in mind, this is not free-market economics. Information is not complete, and strategies are not known. This is game theory, and saying anything about market value has to keep information in context.

  172. LO should be careful….he might end up pulling a Bonzi Wells. Unless he can work a sign/trade to Miami (there’s no way Buss sends him to Dallas), I don’t see anybody paying him anywhere close to what LA just pulled off the table.

  173. 173 yea sure in an ideal world their interests are aligned.. but in reality theres always gg to be a conflict.. its the same w/shareholders and management.. esp when incentives for management (or agents) are misaligned.. in the case of david lee – who had only 2 clients – getting the lakers to pony up the extra dough would probably have meant more clients.. cause he’d have earned a reputation as the guy who managed to ‘hustle’ the lakers twice. if the relationship was so simple then u’d have to conclude that ariza told lee to go out n negotiate in the media..

  174. Wheter i agree with you guys or not,i must say this is one of the best blog sites ive been on. Most of the site i post on have guy calling names etc.,where this one is informative and respectful.
    Does anyone know if kobes doing any armtwisitn behinds the scenes on odoms behalf,or anything else? pc

  175. Also i saw in the la times that they had a computer having the 72 team beat the 87 team in 5 games. What a joke. Wilt himself admitted that they had no bench to speak of and him and west were old,where the 87 bench was 3 to 4 deep. They had goodrich as mvp,but you know coop would of shut him down. I liked the 87 team alot,but i think 85 was better,since we still had mcadoo and wilkes off the bench as well as a healthy kupchack and kareem still playing well…What do the rest of you think of that computer simulation???? pc

  176. pcblack?

    Are you typing on a cell phone?

  177. The bench, lol, without Odom is pedestrian. That’s probably putting it mildly. Yikes!

    I doubt the Lakers would be able to get Haslem and Beasley. Beasley and a scrub probably works.

    Darius – I think Odom is a necessity. He must be re-signed because there is uncertainty regarding Andrew Bynum’s health. We all know what Bynum can do. We’ve seen glimpses, but those glimpses have been cut short by injuries, whether freak or otherwise. Odom provides that insurance that few other teams have, except for maybe Boston who has Sheed as a back up. However, Sheed can’t initiate the offense like Odom can. Priority, numero uno or dos, is to re-up with Odom.

  178. Igor Avidon,
    Lamar is not the universally adored player on the Lakers – Gasol is. Lamar is not the spectacular #1 option – Kobe is.

    Lamar is the #3 option – some say soon to be #4 – and he has never been a completely dependable player. Over the years many of us fans have waiver between ship his a** out and we need his versatility.

    Therefore, when we criticize him for his holding out on what would seem to be a much more than fair offer, we are not being turncoats who don’t see Lamar’s intrinsic value.

    We see the Lamar who has been here since 2004, and – at 30yrs of age – is not likely to change for the better during any declining years.

  179. A compromise solution is a 5 year deal with the 5th year partially guaranteed (say 3M). That way if the Lakers waive LO, they can do so without the full wack. If LO in his 5th year can command the full MLE at the time he’s no worse off financially than fully guaranteed. In fact, you can argue that 5 year deal with a partially guaranteed final year is more useful to the Lakers than a straight 4 year deal. A player with a high salary which is partially guaranteed is quite attractive as trade bait, ala Stackhouse and Dampier. The receiving team can ship out a multi-year contract, and waive the in-coming player and only pay the partial guarantee.

    I don’t really have a problem with the way Mitch played this sequence of hands. The only trick he missed was failing to arrange for a sign and trade w/ Houston for Artest. Morey was lucky he got an injury exemption for Yao but it would have been in both club’s interest to do so.

    Then the Lakers would still have the MLE to use up which could have been useful in pursuing Sheed or McDyess.

  180. Darius – Also, Odom makes the team better at the moment when on the floor with Gasol than Bynum does.

  181. Chest Rockwell July 15, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Lamar’s actions do seem enigmatic. But maybe LO finally realized Bynum will be making 14 mil a year. Lamar is like “Bynum makes how much? Really? The guy I outplay and bail out nightly. That Bynum?”
    Seriously, it’s the only reason I can think of for Lamar not signing– he just can’t abide making less than a guy he’s better than.

  182. Two points:

    1. I talk to a lot of knowledgeable fans who really dislike the Lakers. 99% of them are conjuring hopeful scenarios with Odom playing anywhere but LA. That does not tell us anything we don’t know, but it is telling nonetheless.
    2. If Odom walks, the team is looking at hping to get someone like Wilcox. Joe Smith or Udoka (it might be a 3 or a 4 IMO ) to take the veteran’s minimum (or Josh Powell).

  183. “The bench, lol, without Odom is pedestrian. That’s probably putting it mildly. Yikes”

    That bench was good enough for the Lakers to go 26-7 last season while Bynum was out.

  184. One other note: this is an idiosyncratic situation. The team really needs Odom, obviously. I think replacing Ariza with Artest makes it more so–that was an “all-in” kind of move. I am still in Bynum’s corner, but counting on him is overly optimistic at this point. Inconsistent and frustrating are not synonyms for useless and bad–Odom is a key guy on this team.

    But, no other teams who can pay him seem to want Odom that much.

    So he sort of has leverage–but then again he doesn’t.

  185. An amusing article about the incentives in players’ contracts…

    Adonal Foyle gets $500,000 if he wins MVP, and another $500K if he wins MVP of the NBA Finals. Wonder how many gin and tonics the GM and agent went through before they came up with those. Or how many times did the guys pass the bottle around before they figured that Luke Ridnour would merit an extra $1.5 million for winning Defensive Player of the Year?

  186. 188,

    Yeah, but the issue is winning the title. That is why they brought in Artest. If Odom leaves and they replace him with a guy at the VM, it is hard for me to picture the Lakers taking a best-of-7 from Boston, San Antonio, Cleveland, Orlando and maybe Denver or Dallas. The Lakers wouldn’t miss Odom much in a February home game against the Thunder. In late May against the Spurs, I want him there.

  187. Odom for Beasley + others? Are you kidding me? I’d take that in a heartbeat

  188. I like the idea of offering a 5 yr contract with the 5th yr partially guaranteed. You can make the guarantee based on minutes played (like Dampiers contract) or something. Something like the 5th year is partially guaranteed if he plays less than X minutes per game. Seems like a reasonable compromise. And a partially guaranteed contract is a good asset for trades.

  189. The thing that scares me is that things might get hostile enough where there is no “honorable out” where both sides appear to give something up to reach a compromise. Buss lowering the offer will do precisely that.

    These 2nd tier agents want to make a big splash and a public confrontation with the Lakers puts Schwartz squarely in the public eye. Whatever the underlying situation is, Lamar needs to figure out what is really important to him and make a firm decision.

    All that said, this situation is really incomprehensible to me.

  190. RE the line: ““Many in the Lakers’ organization believe that Odom wants to accept Buss’ offer — and so do those close to Odom — but he has failed to convince his agent.”

    That is how you communicate with a player through the media. You give him an out — it’s not you, we still love you, it’s the agent. As many have said, if Odom wanted to accept the deal, he just tells his agent to and it’s over. This is on Odom, he chose not to. What I’ve been told is the Lakers were offended that they did not even get a call or any response on the new offer, not even a no or “we want to think about it” or whatever, just radio silence. Buss was offended, apparently.

    The Lakers can play some hardball here. If Odom wants more than the MLE, then he is only getting that from the Lakers or in a sign and trade, a deal the Lakers would have to approve.

  191. “That bench was good enough with Odom leading the way for the Lakers to go 26-7 last season while Bynum was out.”

    Fixed. ;)

  192. rofl Bill Bridges, that article had me laughing so hard at work. Seriously, instead of paying Bynum $14 mil per year guaranteed, we should’ve made it $10 mil per year with $4 mil incentive if he plays in more than 70 games (will it ever happen?).

    How much you wanna bet that Artest got a $500k no-suspensions incentive? Maybe he gets a free pass if it comes in Portland.

    I want more incentives in the contracts. Like $200k if Josh Powell doesn’t blow a single dunk this season. Or $20k for each dunk by Sasha or Luke, cause we can’t get enough of those. Or $1k for every time Gasol checks for blood. The possibilities are endless!

  193. Hey Guys,

    I’m so damned tired of the LO talk already. He comes or he goes, we’ve been discussing this since his exit interview. Ultimately the game of chicken, war or monopoly gets decided and whatever the outcome is – that outcome will be the right one – because it’s what happened.

    I want to take the opportunity to share Plashke’s newest article regarding Tex Winter. He’s going through a really tough time in not being able to do what he loves and knows in life – coach. I’m sure we all have the same experience be it with our parents/grandparents or friend’s family. Plashke got an address for fans to send letters of support, I know I’ll be writing one after work today.

    The Lakers are just a sports team with flashy plays and expensive seats until you and I start to care about the people putting it all together. I think we at FB&G care:

    Tex Winter
    32100 SW French Prairie Road, Number 228
    Wilsonville, Ore., 97070

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-plaschke15-2009jul15,0,2067174.column?page=2

    As for LO – we’ll be fine either way as long as we have faith in our guys.

  194. Wow, the doom and gloom talk here getting me all depressed. I love LO just as much as anyone here, but can we be realistic here for a minute. I’ve read threads like “LO is the 4th best guy on our team, what will we do without him”. If we sign him to an appropriate deal, I will be extremely happy, but to break the bank and sacrafice our future for our 4th or 5th best should not be the Lakers priority.

    Will we be better this year then last year without LO? Perhaps not, but who says we have to be better. If I recall correctly, we just won the freaking championship, and just picked up an asset in Artest. Our championship run wasn’t the makings of our 4th best player playing to his potential. It was about having one of the greatest players to ever play on our team, and a top 10 on the planet (Pau), and everyone else step up when they had to. Did we ever expect Ariza to play like he did? No, and because he did, he was just as responsible for our success as LO. You never know what can happen, or who will surprise you. Hell, LO was as big a surprise to me last year as anyone.

    All I’m saying is, if we can get at a reasonable cost, great. If not, we will be damn good with the guys we have!

  195. After the season ended alot of people were thinking dynasty, but if this situation shows anything, it demonstrates how difficult it is to keep a team together in this era.

  196. Z. Luke Ridnour – DPOY

    is like Zach Randolph winning the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. Yep why not an extra 1.5 mil to Zach for the J. Walter Kennedy award?

  197. 194

    While Bynum was out Odom was not on the bench, so how could he have been ‘leading the way’?

  198. Bill Bridges – Cool find.

  199. If I’m the Lakers, all offers are revoked and negotiations must start fresh. Lamar’s agent overplayed his hand.

    While he is certainly valuable, his flaws are well-documented. Take a walk. The free market giveth, and the free market taketh away. Enjoy your $6 million in Miami–it has a beach.

    What is absolutely critical in the NBA is to not mess up by writing bad contracts, and this one stinks. He’s never been the kind of guy that wins you championships, and he won’t change now that he has one.

  200. The way people are talking; with Lamar the Lakers are a sure thing and without him they don’t have a chance to go to the finals.

    Do you realize how schizophrenic we fans sound? How many of us have really competed at a high level in sports?

    The Lakers winning next year is not a given, regardless what happens with Lamar. Two years ago we were picked to finish 8th in the west and we went to the finals. Teams develop over the year and that is one of the specialties for which Phil Jackson is noted. We are going to have a different team next year and it will develop with a different personality. We should stop trying to put last year’s experiences and fears into next year’s team.

    Next year is going to be unique – with or without Lamar Odom. That’s all we can say with certainty at this time.

  201. P.S. The Laker organization is not just about next year. They have to worry about how the team will function 2-3-4 years down the road. That is the key thing to keep in mind when evaluating whether-or-not an additional year is warranted for Lamar.

  202. 186, exhelodrvr, the bench was terrible after Lamar went to the starting lineup. The only reason the team went 26-7 was because Lamar was on the team, and went into the starting lineup. I’m sure you remember all the complaints we were fielding about the terrible bench, how the team needed to trade Jordan/Sasha/Luke/Josh/everyone not named Kobe or Pau. There were high hopes for our bench at the beginning of the year, but a year of stinking will take the confidence out of even the staunchest of supporters.

  203. 203,

    Excellent point. With every team there is a turnover, even championship ones. If we were talking about Kobe or Pau, then I would understand, but LO is an MLE type player. I know he’s a chemestry guy, and that’s why we all love him, but I like our chances next year regardless.

  204. 204, Craig W, I’d much rather have the greatest possible chance to win a championship now, than to skewer the present in favor of the future. We don’t know what will happen in a couple years, be it a catastrophic injury or whatever, and we have to take advantage of our talent when we can.

    202 Firewalker, I don’t understand “He’s never been the kind of guy that wins you championships, and he won’t change now that he has one.” Lamar is a guy who sacrificed his role for the sake of the team, did all the little things asked of him, and selflessly accepted whatever the coaches asked of him. Isn’t that the exact type of player that wins championships?

  205. I don’t understand what is going on here with Lamar.

    $9m for 4 years ($36m) or $10m for 3 seasons ($30M) versus the alleged offers of the Magic/Mavs for $5.8 yr for 5 years ($34m).

    Looks to me like the offers are almost identical in earning power, but LA’s offer are only less in years. I can understand Lamar willing to take a 5 year deal whose total is worth more than a 3 or 4 year deal, but that’s not the case here. In fact, we have almost the same amount of cash.

    I have no idea what his agent is doing here. Is one extra year really worth all this trouble when the money is about the same? Can someone please explain why in the world this is better for Lamar OR why Lamar can’t just fire his agent (like A-Rod) and call Buss up?

  206. Zephid,

    The collapse of our bench had just as much to do with Ariza being inserted to the starting lineup as it did LOs. When your 2 best bench players become starters in middle of the season, it’s hard to keep up production.

  207. If there is any chance that a Lamar for Haslem/Beasley sign-and-trade can be done, that is the best possible option for next year and the future.

  208. Sure, next season will be unique. I’d argue that, without Odom, it’ll be unique in a very, very bad way.

    Odom is perfect for the triangle. He has skills that guys his size rarely have. He was a huge part of the Lakers’ success last season and those who diminish his contributions by saying “he was only their 4th best player” are both wrong and missing the point. If he leaves, who takes his minutes? Josh Powell?

    I am not a Laker fan, but I’m a basketball fan who loved watching the Lakers last season, and I really, really don’t want to see them without Odom next season. I don’t care about all the drama with this negotiation, I just hope something gets worked out.

  209. Maybe Lamar isn’t confident in his ability to save money and wants a paycheck guaranteed for as long as possible.

  210. MannyP, recall that Texas and Florida don’t charge state income tax so the numbers aren’t really all that far off.

    Then again, LO won’t be winning any more titles in Texas or Florida.

  211. The Laker organization has always taken a multi year view of player signings. That is why the Lakers have only finished out of the playoffs twice in the last 50 years. Part of that success is not repeating mistakes in signing mid-level players to overpriced/longer contracts. Last year we were all screaming about the silly contracts for Sasha, Vlade, and Luke. These were thought to be decent decisions at the time, but turned out to be a bit of a drag on our choices later on. Lamar’s demands fall into the same category.

    This organization will not sacrifice the next 4-5 years just to win the championship next year. That path is for the Miami’s of the world, not the Lakers.

  212. My only question for Lakers management is this: Where did these cajones come from, and why hadn’t they dropped last year during the Bynum negotiations??

  213. Kobe spoke on ESPN Radio and he told Odom to do what’s best for his family first and foremost, even though he want him back to get another crack at the championship.

    Rick Puker said the Lakers are planning to speak to Joe Smith and Drew Gooden today. Puker said Mitch thinks those two players would fit in well within the triangle. All of this was said on Sportscenter.

  214. Forget the future guys… as soon as Kobe gets old the Lakers are done. Kobe has 2 to 4 more years to play at a championship level. That is why Ariza’s age wasn’t important. We don’t care if Ariza in 5 years is still in his prime because we would be in rebuilding mode around Bynum.

  215. Zephid,
    The point is that you don’t need Lamar coming off the bench for the Lakers to do well.

    And at this point, it looks like the Lakers likely starting line-up (Bynum, Gasol, Artest, Bryant, Fisher) will be stronger than last year’s starting lineup while Bynum was out (Gasol, Odom, Ariza, Bryant, Fisher).

    Powell played reasonably well while Bynum was out; if he gets increased time (sans Odom) his performance is likely to improve (increased familiarity with the triangle).

    And the ability of Artest to play both SF and PF gives Jackson some of the same flexibility he had with Gasol (although I don’t think Artest is as good at PF as Gasol is at center).

  216. This contract negotiation is getting ridiculous, but understandable. Buss and LO’s agent are doing exactly what they need to do. It’s just sad that they can’t have a little more trust in each other. I guess that’s the business side of NBA. It doesn’t matter what you have done for each other. It’s always, “What have you done for me lately?”

    Has LO always earned $11-14 mil that he has been collecting the last few years? Does he really deserve $10 that he wants for the next 5 years in this economy and the current cap situations in NBA? The fans have been saying that LO deserves 3-4 year contract in the 8-9 mil range, even though no one else can give anything close to that. No one else is willing either. Then LO has to realize that Buss is looking out for LO as well as being fiscally responsible for the team. The good will between them seems to exist no longer. I hope it’s just posturing, and not the reality. Is $36 mil for 4 that far off from $40 mil for 4? Sure, he wants $50 mil for 5, but that’s just not going to happen. Wake up, Lamar! We all want something. We don’t always get it. If the Lakers offer $36 mil for 4 + $7 mil team option, he should just take it because even that is way too generous offer.

    Yes, Buss family has the money to pay $50 mil for 5, but the cap situation in 4 or 5 years will be completely jacked up if he does. LO needs to come down a little on his demand. Otherwise, he will be the loser as well as Buss family, the Lakers team, and the Laker fans.

    Don’t SCREW this up, LO!

  217. Joel – That’s true. Odom was moved into starting lineup. The VLad trade didn’t help as well as Ariza moving into the starting lineup. However, bench nearly always played with Pau and Odom on the floor together, yet couldn’t string together semblance of consistency. Brown was probably a statistical anomaly (highest PER of any Laker bench player not named Odom) given that there is a small sample size. Everyone took a step back. That just doesn’t exude confidence in me, though I have a belief in Walton and maybe Brown. Possibly Powell

  218. I understand the concept of planning for the furture. But in a realistic world, what is this team’s future after Kobe? Does anyone really know? We’d all hope that Bynum will end up taking the next step and would assume the mantle of the next Lakers’ great and become the focal point of another decade of contention. I know I do – it’s why I was in support of extending his rookie contract. But that’s only a hope at this point and by no means a sure thing. So, at this point, I would think maximizing the window that we have with Kobe would be the best course of action for this team. I’m not saying pay Odom whatever he wants…I’ve consistently said that an 8 mil offer is very fair. I too wish that Odom would just come to terms with what is actually attainable for him and sign on the dotted line. But, I don’t think we should turn on Odom. The front office sure hasn’t. Every quote that is leaked to the media has a qualifier at the end that basically says the team will listen if LO and his agent come back to the table. I just think the team is tired of being the pursuer; tired of chasing. I’m still hopeful that this is going to get done, because both sides still understand that they are the all that is really left for eachother. Sign and trades may be the other *out* for both sides, but that involves another team and another negotiation with another back and forth and haggling over terms that I don’t think any side really wants.

    Also, I agree with zephid in that this stalemate has to be about years, and not completely about money. Artest just got a 5 year deal (essentially). Rumors are that Kobe is going to extend his contract for an additional three years – pushing his contract to five more years. I think it’s also clear that the Lakers will try to re-up Pau at some point before his contract expires to maximize the Kobe/Pau pairing. So, LO must be thinking “I want that too”. More years also equals more security financially. One point that people aren’t talking about in relation to any current contract negotiation for any player (though it came up some during the Ariza stuff) is that the collective bargaining agreement is going to expire in the summer of 2011. Basically, that timeline means that any contract now better maximize your value and do it for the longest period of time beyond that date because any contract you sign after that point probably won’t be worth nearly as much. Especially if the players union makes as many concessions as are expected in the next CBA negotiations. If you’re Odom – a 30 yr old player – do you want to be a FA again in 3 seasons, and sign another deal when the structure of contracts will likely be much more favorable to the teams/owners than they are to the players than they are now? Or would you try to sign as long a deal now as possible and try to get that extra money knowing that this will likely be your last contract worth anything (this same logic surely came up between Trevor and “snakeoil salesman” Lee)? And while I agree with Kurt and others saying that this is really on Odom and he could tell his agent “let’s sign” today and it would be done, I also think he’s had some long talks with his agent where a lot of these side bar points (points that have nothing to do with the Lakers or championships or legacy) have come up and that these talks have skewed his perspective on what is actually best. When I hear quotes about being a “business man”, to me, it’s these side issues that are being referenced, not just the basic numbers 50mil/5yrs – it’s what those numbers mean in the context of the uncertain and changing landscape of the league’s next CBA.

  219. Here is a cool article about a basketball player on the Mavs summer league roster. The young man is 7-4 and can touch the rim while standing flatfooted. Moussa Seck seems like a good athlete if believe the article.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/basketball/mavs/stories/071509dnspomavsfeature.323f903.html

  220. This is really tough –

    Point for the Lakers: every dollar spent is a dollar they have to pay the league. Their first offer of 7 million is actually 14 million.
    Point for Lamar: Whatever he takes from the Lakers, there will be big time state taxes on it.
    So the Lakers sign him to 10 million a year: the Lakers pay 10 MORE million to the NBA, while 3-4 million of Lamar’s money goes to Arnold. So the Lakers are paying 20 million for Odom and he only gets 6-7 million. Now, I know I get a little upset when I look at the gross/net on my paycheck, and I don’t make anywhere near what Lamar does. Imagine how he feels!
    I won’t blame him either way. If he goes, we have no sixth man.

  221. Sad to say this. But I am Over it.

    Lets move on.

    We are the LA Lakers. He is Lamar Odom. Where was he before he got to us.

  222. This article in the LA Times on Tex Winter is worth reading…

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-plaschke15-2009jul15,0,2067174.column

  223. Darius,
    I think we should all suspend the “when Kobe retires” projections.

    Kobe and Pau are both about the same age and about the same build. Kobe is one of the smartest players in the game and reminds me of Oscar Robertson, in that respect. Kobe is there in crunch time, but he is doing less and less of the heavy lifting. With his build, he is likely to be able to play much longer than smaller, light guys or taller, heavy guys – see Kareem for an example. Pau also fits this same body type and should be able to play for many more years if he keeps in shape and isn’t asked to bang all the time.

    What all this means is that Pau and Kobe should be able to play together for 5-7 more years and we should be competitive for that time. That is about all we should ask at this time.

  224. When people point out players making more because of no state sales tax, you must remember that the players earn the money in the state they play each individual game.

    A player from the Mavs doesn’t pay income tax on the games they play in Texas, but they do pay income tax for the games they play in California, same way as touring musicians. You do make more money for a contract in Texas, but not as much as a cursory calculation would tell you.

  225. travis, where do you get that CA state taxes are 30 to 40%? I think that’s more like Fed tax rate, and that % is true(the same) in every state. I agree, some states don’t have a state tax, but the worst that could ever be is no more than 8% (I think) not a cpa, but I think you’re confusing state and fed tax rates.

    wrt this LO business, could this be the year we remember for 2 agents misplaying their hands in negotiations with the lakers front office? let’s hope not, man, if anything LO’s agent should have learned, is in watching the Ariza situation unfold, anyone in the know of sports, knows that Trevors agent plain and simple, “blew it”! poor negotiation skills, nothing else on that. now we’ve got another situation where it’s looking like the player wants to stay here in LA, (who wouldn’t?) and the agent overplays their hand and blows it.
    man, what an off season so far.

  226. Craig W,
    No doubt about what you’re saying. I too expect Kobe to play many more years. He’s fanatical about his conditioning and is as competitive a player as I’ve ever seen. But, I should have been more clear – I’m talking his window as a truly elite and dominant player. While Jordan was that player until he was 35/36 years old, asking Kobe to do that is a stretch considering the mileage on his legs and minutes played over his career (playing heavy minutes and making many deep playoff runs). Pau may have a bit longer as he has not had the deep playoff runs that Kobe had and has not been in the league as long, but I think my point is still valid. Realistically we have another 3-5 years with both Kobe/Pau playing at or near peak level. I think with a healthy Odom in that mix (as well as Bynum/Artest) we would have a core five players that could be at the center of a contender regardless of what other pieces fill in the gaps. That group has the versatility to play all five positions on the floor together if needed (I’m not saying they would or should, just that they could). So, I just think when we talk about the future, we need to really think about what this team will be in 5 years – will Bynum be ready? Will Kobe still be the player he is now? What other young players will we acquire and how will they perform? Those are a lot of questions that we would all be hopefull for positive answers, but ultimately we’re unsure. So, should we bet on that future or should we make our push now? I understand there has to be a balance between the two and the organization has to make the final call on which way it will tilt in the end. I just hope we can continue with what we’ve established for the now becaus I know it works. And then I’ll be optimistic about those unanswered questions for the future and root for all the success to continue when it’s time.

  227. CA’s income tax for top earners is 10.55%. I also believe their is surcharge for those making a million a year of more to pay for mental health services. Add in property taxes, and sales taxes and Cali is not a cheap place to live. And the way things are looking taxes are going to keep going up.

  228. The income tax rate in CA for people making more than $1m a year is 10.3%.

    So, I can see Lamar and his Agent thinking that Laker’s $36m for 4 years is worth roughly $32.4m, compared to the Heat/Mavs offer for $5.8 yr for 5 years ($34m), which would mean a difference for them of $1.6m over the life of the contract. I can also see them arguing that cost of living is less in FL and TX, so Lamar would be able to get a bigger mansion and probably spend a little less buying his fancy suits.

    Still, a $1.6m difference over 5 years is really not enough for Lamar to walk away from this team. First, because if Lamar’s intent is to play at least 5 more years, the Lakers 4 year offer would allows Lamar to hypothetically sign with a team for year 5 at the MLE – which should certainly allow Lamar to make up the aforementioned $1.6m difference. Since money is clearly not the biggest factor here, what’s the real issue?

    I’m with Kurt on this one. This is on Lamar. Unless his agent withheld the Lakers offer from him, It’s Lamar’s decision to accept or play hardball. Unfortunately for him, he is not in a position – and this is not the market – to play such game. Additionally, the Lakers know exactly the type of money the Heat/Mavs can offer him, so they can simply wait for LO to come to his senses. The only thing I can think of here is that LO and his Agent are gambling that Portland does a 180 and decides to pursue him.

  229. >$5.8 yr for 5 years ($34m).

    (plus no state taxes) but it’s not even that simple. the 5.8 (MLE) is only for the first year, then it escalates each year by some %-age. (10-15%?) some salary expert can come up with the real total, but it’s significantly more than $34m! (more like 45m to 50m over 5 years?)

  230. Not So Sweet Goodbye: LOw On Sugar
    by Jonathan Hernandez

    Was this really the team that just won the championship? I hope this isn’t the start of some really bad snowballs rolling our way. Too up and down a Summer for me, and I think I might throw up soon.

    Recap of events in the last month and a half:

    Trevor Ariza leaves. Sad turn of events.

    Ron Artest signs for a relatively cheap contract by his standards. Repeat here we come!

    Sasha Vujacic is still a Laker. And still getting paid $5 mill a year. “Why?” – some child in Africa.

    Shannon Brown turns down a more lucrative contract with the Indiana Pacers to resign with the Lakers. Heart of a champion!

    Lamar Odom and his agent turn down a $9 mill a year for 3 years deal after the Lakers raised their offer from $7 mill a year. Odom’s been chewing on those sour patches a little too much. Sucks like a month old lollipop Odom forgot under his bed.

    Adam Morrison seems fully healthy and ready to revive his career, avg 20 pts through his first 4 games in the Vegas Summer League. Resurgence of the Bird Apparent!

    And in recent developments, the Lakers front office has seemingly pulled the offer from the table, obviously frustrated with how negotiations with Odom’s agent have gone. Don’t play hard-ball with the front office. EFF!

    [Update: Odom was offered $30 mill/3 years OR $36mill/4 years...Odom's camp rejected both. Odom led the Lakers with 1.3 rejections last season. He's good at rejections. Thus, offer officially withdrawn.]

    Well, fans who have clamored for a Lamar Odom trade almost every summer that he’s been a Laker will finally get their wish – although this summer, it’s probably their biggest dread. There will be no sugar rush in L.A. next year, but there will still be rush hour…

    What was shaping up to be a Summer of Greater Expectations for the 2009 World Champion Lakers has quickly turned into a Summer of Absolute Discontent. How could feelings of champagne bliss switch to grievances of contract piss so quickly? But really, after the unfortunate mishandling of Trevor Ariza’s contract (who still desperately wants to be a Laker despite symbolically stepping into T-Mac’s #1 jersey), and the recent signings of Shannon Brown and Ron Artest (who both turned down more money to play for the Lakers) – how has it come to this?

    The Lakers aren’t betraying their players, the players aren’t betraying their teams – it’s the agents who are betraying their own common sense.

    I’m not sure what to make of this recent speculation that the Lakers have withdrawn their offer from Odom’s camp, but I do know that it will be a very sad day in L.A. when Lamar Odom officially leaves signs with another team – regardless of who we may think is in the wrong . Unfortunately, it is pride and greed that have made their presence known more than anything else this past summer when it comes to the arena of cordial diplomacy and contractual business – and that’s never been a recipe for anything sweet.

    Expect the worst. Be surprised by the best.

    Link:
    http://ohmeohmyjellosjigglin.blogspot.com/2009/07/not-so-sweet-goodbye-lamar-odom-gone.html

  231. I’m sure it’s hard for Lamar to accept that Andrew “Ride the Pine-num” is going make 50% more than him and do 75% less. Hey Lamar, you gotta decide. We will win more championships with Kobe, Pau and Ron on board. We can a) slide Ron down to the four (at 6-7 and 270 lbs, no problem) while Kobe plays some 3 or b) bring in Josh Powell for a good 6-10 minutes a half, or scour the NBA for that next catch. David Lee? yes, Michael Beasley? no, too small. Don’t worry Lamar LA will be fine with or without you. Please stay though, most of us like you, you’re a good dude. Higher a nutritionalist and you’ll be fine.

  232. One factor worth mentioning is the economic situation for the league and for the country as a whole. Remember the Great Depression had about 3 downturns over a period of 9 years or so, with periods in between where it looked like things had already reached bottom. The underlying fundamentals don’t look good in the US, with high budget defecits foe the Feds, 46 of the 50 states in the red, pressures on the dollar, and still rising unemployment.

    With most teams in the NBA losing money and with the need for a new collective bargaining agreement on the horizon, locking in an extra year or two now might lock in a higher payday than will be available down the road.

  233. I am at the same place I was with Ariza. I believe that we need Odom but as someone just reminded me in an earlier post…we are the L.A. Lakers. We make players who they are. If Odom does not want to except a more than fair deal, let him walk. I have faith that our front office will do what it takes to make sure that we fill the gap. One thing about our organization, they will do whatever it takes to make sure we field a team that will not just make a push for the playoffs, but a possible finals birth. Look at what happened with Boston. We got beat bad but against all odds we made it back the next year and won the whole thing. Everyone team in the NBA are making changes, not to make their teams better, but to keep up with us.

    GO LAKERS!

  234. I agree with Musicfan. Bottom line is that if Lamar goes, we need a backup 4, Powell isn’t a proven solution there.

    I really like David Lee. If he can excel in that franchise given all the B.S. they’ve been through the last few years, imagine how bright he could shine as the 6th man on a contender. Plus, I have faith in his ability to do the 2 things that Laker big men are notoriously weak at: Rebound and defend the pick and roll. He also has a high basketball IQ which is a must in the triangle.

    I think a large reason Lamar leaving scares so many is because the triangle takes so long to learn. Plus we’re already bringing in Artest, which means two of the key pieces for our title run last year are gone and we have 2 new names to drag through a learning curve (Artest and Free Agent X who will fill the 6th man role).

    However, Shannon Brown and Pau are proof that all it takes for a newcomer to excel on this team are a willingness to learn the system, and the ability to match Kobe’s intensity. Lamar didn’t always possess either, especially the latter. I think D. Lee may be a better option.

  235. Where Mitch clearly messed up with Lamar is in the area of benefits.

    How many of you doubt that Lamar would have signed immediately for the MLE plus an unlimited career supply of candy bars?

    Not to mention the endorsements.

  236. #188…Bill Bridges,

    I think you might be on to something there with the incentives…

    how about something like a 7 mil per for 5 years offer? And an extra million for each round of the playoffs the Lakers win.

    That will ensure Buss gets his money’s worth in the last years of the contract and keep Lamar hungry. A win-win?

  237. This contract haggling is only doing one thing.

    Giving us something to talk about. Traffic is crazy all over Lakers blogs. Once they get this contract signed all we’ll have to talk about is………when NBAtv replays the Finals.

    Thank you, Lakers FO and LO. It’s been slow.

  238. the other Stephen July 15, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    225. Craig, thanks so much for providing that touching Bill Plaschke column about Tex. No, it’s not about the triangle again, although it does mention it. I want to recommend it again here:

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-plaschke15-2009jul15,0,2067174.column?page=1

  239. “What all this means is that Pau and Kobe should be able to play together for 5-7 more years and we should be competitive for that time.”

    That is very optimistic, given their mileage. The Lakers should be thinking about the next two years, then we’ll see. That is true of pretty much any team–but particularly of one where all the key guys except one are around 30 and the most important young guy has seriously injured both knees.

    I am very optimistic short-term–but this is a short-horizon team.

  240. 181. Craig W,

    Ever see the Lakers’ pre-game huddles? Who’s the guy in the middle getting the team around him and riling them up? Hint: It’s not the universally adored or the #1 spectacular option. If you’ve ever been a part of any team (not just sports) you’d know that the heart and soul of the team is not your best performers, but the guy who keeps your team together and motivated.

    On a sidenote, Lamar to Miami significantly improves them. I think he would fit well with them. They might push for 3rd in the East.

  241. This has been very entertaining, but uncertainty brings about anxiety. Good player, agreed, worth 9 to 10 mil, debatable. The FO has really been thrown a changeup here. Thoughts were that it was going to be easier to sign LO, than TA, it turned out to be the opposite. Let him leave, it will not be the end of the world.

  242. David Lee? I haven’t head much about him lately but I thought I remember him wanting more than $10 mill. Being young and considering what Bargnani and Varejao got I’m sure he wants at least a similar contract from the Knicks.

    Also I’m not sure how his offensive skill set fits into the triangle, and it goes without saying he isn’t as versatile as LO and lacks his shot blocking ability. He also hangs around the basket a lot on O and D.

    Seems like he’s not even an option right now so I don’t know why he was brought up.

  243. New post up, for Odom talk and some Summer League notes.

  244. Yeah lets pay 10 mil for a great cheerleader. Let’s just bring back Paula Abdul, heard she can be had for the veterans min.

  245. @232 – Contract raises for signing with a team without your Bird Rights is 8%. Signing for the MLE for 5 years at maximum possible raises from year to year comes out to $34 million. This is the same deal that Ron Artest and Trevor Ariza both got from the Lakers and Rockets.

    Does anyone have any info on how a player is paid for playoff games? IE, if a player is paid x amount per game during the regular season, how is it calculated for y number of playoff games? Do all players have contract bonus rates set for postseason games?

    @227 – While your correct that players pay state income taxes based on where the game was played, there still is a difference between playing in Texas versus California (or Florida). For example:

    The Lakers play 41 home games in Caliornia. They also play an additional 6 more games due to the Clippers, Kings, and Warriors in the state. That’s 47 games in California. In non-state income tax states (FL & TX), the Lakers play 8 games total; six in Texas, two in Florida.

    Now the Mavs on the other hand, they play 41 home games in Texas, plus 4 more games due to the Spurs and Rockets. That’s 47 games un-taxed, including two Florida games. The Heat play 46 games un-taxed. This is in comparison to the Lakers, who only play the 8 games all season un-taxed.

    However, like #231 said, the rough estimate of taxes paid to the state is somewhere between $1.5 and $1.8 million for a $10 million contract.

    Let’s break it down, with alot of guestimation of course.

    $10 million dollar contract is broken down into $121,951.22 per game. Now, as established, the Lakers play at most 74 games that are state-taxed. Let’s put state tax at the high number of 10%, just to play devil’s advocate. That’s a tax cost of $12,195.12 per game. Total cost is of taxes is $902,438.88 over the course of the season.

    Now let’s look at it from the Mavs point of view. A player’s total cost at 35 taxed away games is $426,829.20 over the course of the season.

    Miami’s, FYI, is $439,024.32 total state-tax on 36 away games.

    Over the course of a 5 year contract, here’s the loss in state taxes:

    California: $4,512,194.40
    Texas: $2,134,146.00
    Florida: $2,195,121.60

    So if LO had a 5 year/$50 million contract, he loses the above totals from it from just state taxes alone. While these seem like huge differeces to us (since we’re not millionaires), remember that this has been the case for quite awhile in all pro-sports, yet Texas and Florida aren’t exactly well-known for gathering the best free agents every year.

    And of course, this all assumes that each year of the contract is at $10 million (unlikely), that the every state has it’s income tax at 10% (impossible), and that the tax rate never changes over 5 years (improbable).

  246. I posted the Tex article like 50 posts earlier… lol proves my theory that people just scroll down to the people they know and read their posts.

  247. Lamar is not taking a pay cut nor is he leaving money on the table to stay with the Lakers. Saying he is taking a paycut from $14 million/yr to $10 million/yr is not accurate. He would only by taking a paycut if the Lakers’ offer was not the highest. This is why Lamar is being ridiculed here. He is not leaving any money on the table to stay with the Lakers. I used to believe his mental lapses were only on the court. Evidently, this happens off the court as well.

  248. the other Stephen July 15, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    sorry, samy. i don’t have time to read through every post. i was scrolling from the bottom up, and I saw an interesting link. not so sure about your theory…

  249. Some of the stuff I’ve been reading in terms of Buss being “angry” at not getting a response, combined with retracting the offer and the additional threat of providing a lower offer if Odom comes back..it all seems pretty petty to me. Odom has been a class act in terms of handling the negotiations. He did not pull a Shaq move. I don’t think his agent acted like Ariza’s. But the blind quotes coming out of the Lakers camp – splitting the agent and the player, complaining about the no call back…all you are doing is exposing your weakness. The lakers have always been tight lipped. I’ll bet that when the LA Times and Daily News ran their stories, the lakers had pretty much given up. That was the hail mary. LO thinks he’s worth a certain amount of money. He runs the risk of not getting it from LA. Let’s leave it at that. Do the Lakers think they can get something better than LO that’s out there? I don’t think so, or they would have pulled something similar to Ariza/Artest. This seems more personal at this point than anything, and that’s sad. I don’t think losing LO over the amount discussed is worth this – but I certainly understand why the lakers would rather let him go. But the way this is being played out sends a message to most of the other players on the team.

  250. Rejecting the Lakers offer still doesn’t make a lot of sense from a present value standpoint…the Lakers higher near-term salaries can be invested to yield some of that 4th and 5th years income Lamar seems to be looking for…

  251. “Success is often the first step toward disaster. I call it, ‘the disease of more’. People start thinking, ‘I’m really the key ingredient. It was my quality minutes off the bench. It was my outstanding defense. People who were quiet during the lean years suddenly want more money, more playing time, more recognition. And they get aggressive and jealous about pulling in their ‘more’. The disease of more takes away their perspective.”
    -Pat Riley

    I quoted this on an earlier thread about Trevor. I get the feeling we’re headed down the same road with LO. The disease of more continues to spread.

  252. 207 Zephid

    you wrote:
    amar is a guy who sacrificed his role for the sake of the team, did all the little things asked of him, and selflessly accepted whatever the coaches asked of him”

    I’m sorry, but i didn’t realize that Lamar had a decision in the matter. Before Bynum was injured Lamar sucked the place up to high heaven! Only after Bynum got injured and Lamar got his starting role / playing time back, did he actually give some effort in some games and played excellent in the playoffs.

    I would love Lamar back and if it were me and my decision was: lamar with 10m or not lamar, i’d pay the man. But i’d also trade him for Beasley without second thought, and we have options if he leaves. All is not lost if Lamar is not a laker.

  253. kaveh, perhaps he didn’t have a choice, but he did perform his role without complaint or making any sort of a fuss except for one sentence to the media in October.

    Think of it this way. Say you got drafted into the military, went off to fight in a war, and came back here. Sure, you didn’t have a choice, but you damn well deserve some praise for actually going and doing it.

    And you’re completely wrong about Lamar sucking before Bynum got injured. Lamar was leading the Lakers in +/- for the entire season, especially in the beginning of the year. The bench was absolutely destroying other teams in the beginning of the year, and a lot of that had to do with Lamar (and Trevor, of course). So you’re just completely wrong about Lamar playing terribly when he lacked minutes.

  254. If I’m understanding this correctly, though – Lamar doesn’t have jack to work with until another team tenders him an offer, right? Until that happens (if it does), the Lakers own his rights, yes?

  255. robinred,

    You’re mistaken on a few levels. Firstly, an NBA players PRIME years are typically anywhere from 27-32. Pau is 28, Artest is 29, Odom is 29, Kobe is 30.

    Secondly, Jordan didn’t even win his first title until he was 29! He won his last at age 36-37. I fully expect Kobe to be an MVP caliber player until 34.

    Thirdly, when you say “mileage” it doesn’t make much sense. It’s as if you don’t recognize any “mileage” of a player before their NBA days. Kobe skipped college to play in the NBA while Jordan played a few years years in college. There is no difference between their mileage –it’s just that they played in different leagues. Not to mention that Kobe only played like 15 minutes per game in his first year or so.

    What really matters is age, genetics and work ethic. Kobe is 30, still in the middle of his prime. Kobe has that body that looks to last. Like Jordan, Kobe has never really had ANY serious injuries (no jinx please). And both have work ethics rivaled by none.

    Even Shaq, who’s like 38 now, won a championship 3 years ago at age 35. His body is made to break down and yet he wasn’t that much off of his MVP level he played at with the lakers. I fully expect Kobe to be far closer to his peak at 35 than Shaq was. Shaq has the body which is basically made to breakdown, while Kobe has the exact opposite body.

    Also, I think Phil Jackson said it best on age –he said that players actually get BETTER as they age as long as they keep roughly 90% of their athleticism. Kobe is far better today than he was in his early 20’s, while he had more jump in his step back then. Kobe will continue to improve his playmaking ability and shooting ability, not to mention his overall understanding of the game. This will more than make up for his slight loss in athleticism over the next 5 years or so.

  256. Kobes stays in great shape,hes got 5-7 years left barring injury. If we get him a dependable backup 2g,we can cut his minutes down.. Shannon brown or sasha can fill that void i hope. When hes done whe will bypass mj….pc

  257. Also does anyone know where i can find those defensive ratings ive seen for odom and fisher? Speaking of Fish,how pissed is he,hes making $4.7 mil. and hes way more clutch than odom who wont take 9 million… Makes him wanna puke i bet..pc

  258. Any word on Odom?

    I’ve checked the headlines, Miami, Portland, no even the Knicks.

    Just wondering if you guys had any fresh takes.

  259. I think how long Kobe has left is totally in his own control – if he realistically is going to play 5 – 7 more years at the top then it will come down to how he looks after himself off the court. I guess how he is managed on the court ie: minutes etc will also play a role, but the main role will be on his own shoulders.