Odom, Summer League Notes, Part Deux

Kurt —  July 15, 2009

Game 5 - Magic vs. Lakers
Here’s what I think is the ultimate truth about the Lakers/Odom negotiations: They still need each other.

Unless Odom wants to walk away for the MLE — and he doesn’t, he already turned up his nose at more money than that from the Lakers — Odom and the Lakers have to agree on whatever deal gets done.

Here are the most-likely outcomes: 1) Odom signs some kind of deal with the Lakers; 2) Odom’s agent sets up a sign-and-trade with Miami (it will not be Dallas, the Lakers will not send Odom to a potential title contender in the West). Either of those options involves the Lakers signing off on the deal. So, to borrow Tom Ziller’s line, this is really more or less that the Lakers and Odom have hit the pause button on negotiations. They are going to have to talk again. Right now it sounds as if Buss and others are almost letting this get personal, a cooling off period could be good.

Don’t delude yourself into thinking the Lakers are better off without Odom — the best proof is that last season he led the Lakers in +/-, the Lakers outscored opponents by 16.4 points per 48 minutes when he was on the floor. Second was Kobe at 12.1. The simple truth is that good things happened for the Lakers when he was on the floor. He came up big in the playoffs. His versatility cannot easily be replaced. There are some intriguing pieces on the Heat roster (Chalmers, for one) but any move the Lakers make here is not going to make a title more likely.

Can the Lakers win a title without Odom? Yes, but the margin of error is now non-existent. Bynum has to be healthy and playing at his peak. Artest has to fit in swimmingly. Bench guys like Sasha and Jordan cannot struggle for long stretches. Everything has to go right. And that’s a lot to ask.

• By the way, people keep talking about the state tax issue in Texas and Florida. That is not as big a deal as you think — the players are taxed per game at the rates in the states they play. Meaning, when the Heat come and play the Lakers, Wade et al get taxed at California rates. When the Lakers go to Dallas, they get taxed at Texas rates. Basically, to play in a state with no income tax impacts only 50% of your checks, and while there are some savings it’s not as dramatic as some lead to believe.

• Watched two Lakers Summer League games now and here’s what I’ve learned about Adam Morrison: His knee is healthy. Everything else that he has shown we already knew.

When he is given space, his shot is still pure. Part of the challenge for Morrison in Summer League is that while his role should be spot-up shooter, he is the guy expected to create offense in Vegas. He is crowded by defenders and is having to create off the dribble, which he cannot do at the NBA (or even Summer League) level. When he is just asked to shoot — Tuesday there was one inbounds play where he comes off two screens and gets a baseline 18-foot catch-and-shoot — he looks good. But when asked here to show off more dimensions to his game he struggles.

The question going forward a simple one: Come training camp can he prove he can play to his strengths 10 minutes a night? When out with the second unit and Odom/Artest/Gasol draws the double and kicks out, does he understand his role well enough to get to the open space then can he drain the open shot. Two years ago Sasha played that role well, and if he gets his shot back it could be hard for Morrison to get the minutes (Sasha is the better defender). But that is all that Morrison is going to be — a 10-minute-a-night gunner. Don’t think the scoring totals from Vegas means anything more.

• James Harden is smooth. Strong first step and made some nice plays coming off the high pick, can finish in traffic, has the great J. On several occasions he was the outlet and led the fast break. Pretty much loved everything he did, and he is going to be a great fit next to Westbrook. I think I underestimated him at Arizona State but as Ty from lakers.com pointed out, in college he was constantly tripled teamed because, well, who else did you fear on that squad?

• Toney Douglas, the Florida State guard the Lakers drafted in the first round then traded to the Knicks, impressed. He was confident and making smart decisions with the ball, had some nice drive and kicks, just ran the offense like a pro (although much slower than D’Antonio must have wanted, it was basically an “at least 7 seconds” system). He had a rough game shooting (2-11) but nobody thought that was the trend. He’s not super athletic, he’s not going to be the next Chris Paul, but he will be a serviceable, smart backup PG for years in the league.

• Another guy in that same mold is Ty Lawson, who will be backing up Billups in Denver this year. Smart choices, especially in transition. Real floor general.

• Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin make a deadly pick-and-roll combo. Often bigs coming out of college are not very good at setting picks, but Griffin is a wall. Gordon hugs tighter off the pick than most guards than explodes, and is great at keeping his defender on his hip. Blake rolls hard to the basket and has great hands. They are going to score a lot of points with that next season.

• Tweet of the day from David Thorpe (and expressed what I thought exactly): I’m not sure what Hasheem means in his native language, but I’d guess it’s not “plays with fire”.

• Maybe the two best dunks I’ve seen here came from Anthony Randolph in one game (a game where he scored 42 to tie the Vegas Summer League record). First he got the ball on the wing (left alone) and made a big one dribble-move, the help defender rotated over late and Randolph pushed him out of the way with a Dwight Howard like move and threw down the tomahawk. Later in the same game Stephen Curry is leading the break and does the off-the-backboard pass to a trailing Randolph. The guy can finish.

• By the way, the other two guys to score 42 in a Summer League game? Von Wafer and Marcus Banks. That should tell you all you need to know about the level of play in Vegas.


Kurt

Posts

358 responses to Odom, Summer League Notes, Part Deux

  1. In this world there does not seem to be much that a person values other than the dollar bill. So, I am not surprised that Odom is trying to squeeze a couple million more from the Lakers. However, if Odom had no intention of taking less money to remain a Laker, he should have kept his mouth shut! When a reporter asked him about his contract negotiations, he could have easily said, I don’t know, we’ll wait and see. Instead he volunteered an opinion.

    The only thing a person has of value is his word. We now know that (If we didn’t know it before) Odom’s word means nothing! Whose to believe that he will come back next season in shape, ready to play and motivated to be the sixth man? He has already proved that what he says out of his mouth is just talk to fill the air with the sound of his own voice.

    I can not even fathom the Lakers minus Odom, but if that’s how we start the 2010 season, so be it.

    If only Adam could return to his college days shooting form, he could give us a quality 10-12 minute stint from off of the bench.

    0
  2. dave in hillsboro July 16, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    200, EROC, of course, now ESPN is saying the Jazz will match tomorrow:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4334968

    0
  3. Let us also recall that Ric Bucher was also the one who paraded around every ESPN property saying that there was no way Kobe would remain a Laker, and that he was going to be traded immediately. When it comes to our team the dude is not exactly the Oracle of Delphi.

    0
  4. chearn/203

    L.O. is taking less money, to the tune of $4 million less per season I believe. He never said he was going to play for free, I think the frustration everyone is having with this situation is that $9 million to come off the bench (which makes him the highest paid 6th man, more than Manu Ginobli) at 30 years old, for a championship caliber squad seems incredibly generous, even if it is for the 3 years.

    0
  5. 187 – Nah I didn’t mean it in a bad way, I was just curious. I never get my questions answered on those ESPN chats.

    Kurt, if there are any Heat executives in the building, could you try to interest them in a Wade-for-Odom deal? Say Mitch told you that Riley doesn’t have the balls to pull that trade off. And buy them a few drinks. We believe in you!

    0
  6. Hate to say it, but the Bucher report sounds credible. Buss had no problem saying goodbye to Ariza. Why do we expect LO to be any different? The offer is gone. Why do we expect it to be put back on the table? And let’s stop kidding ourselves about how bad the loss would be. At the end of the day, if the Lakers lose LO, they’ve lost 2 of their best 4 players this offseason.

    0
  7. One other thing from that interview…

    It was pointed out that most teams that repeat do not stand pat over the offseason. When teams stand pat they often suffer from a level of complacency that causes them to fail in their run for a 2nd title.

    The Lakers will be different next year, with at least Ron Artest being a really hungry player. The bench will also be different in function and expectation. We fans are the ones who seem least able to change with the times.

    Conceivably, the Lakers could be better next year for all this disruption. Another type of team that must adjust to the new realities, rather than sitting back on its laurels.

    Just a thought to put through our hand wringing.

    0
  8. whats the deal Kurt?

    I heard Beasley is on the plane to LA and d-wade said he has some good news coming up stay tuned

    http://twitter.com/Supercoolbeas

    http://twitter.com/dwadeofficial

    0
  9. Bynum bad contract?

    Are you kids CRAZY. Firstly, there is a saying in the stocks/futures trading business and that’s hindsight is always 20/20. So one must put themselves in the front office’s position at the TIME they signed the extension for bynum. He had not had his second injury yet –you cannot assume that a 21 year old will get injured again. You must make your decisions on the assumption of health or the assumption of X% injury prone which should be relatively close to other 21 year olds (not too high).

    That said, even in hindsight this deal is a good move by the lakers. That is, I would make the same deal TODAY. Why? I don’t remember ever seeing a center up to age 21 show this much talent. It’s not just his size and length, but his touch on the ball and the moves he has already procured into his bag of tricks. Ask yourself if you ever remember another young 21 year old center with Bynum’s potential and skill? Well regarding potential I remember Shaq/Dwight, but that’s just because they were physically dominant. Skill wise I can’t think of another.

    Also, there is nothing that says this kid will be injury prone for his career. Even normal sized kids take time in order to fill into their adult bodies. Just think of a 14 year old kid who has sprouted to 6’1″ but is skinny as a pole. This kid is injury prone at 14 because he has not filled out his body. He needs to be careful not to over-strain his young fragile body. For taller people the time-line shifts even further. Someone like Bynum, with the type of length and size he has, may not reach physical maturity until 25-26. He may be at 21 the equivalent of me or you at 14-15.

    Once he enters into his physical maturity, his body will toughen up. Not only will he put on muscle, but his bones and joints should get stronger. And more importantly his balance and mastery of the use of his body will come. This will drastically reduce injury rate. Someone like Bynum is injury prone early in his career, toughens up, but then at 33-36 will start to deteriate badly. Shaq is actually a physical specimen –for him to still be able to play at 38 is tantamount to incredible gift he got from god.

    And we are only talking about physical attributes. Mentally he will learn the game and learn that passing out of a double team will make him a much better player. His skills will improve dramatically and since he already has such a high release, i can see Bynum being truly great. This kid has the tools to become an all time great in my book. But that’s all potential. It all depends on injuries and desire.

    0
  10. 210. Craig,

    I would wager that teams that leak talent also don’t repeat. One can argue that we upgraded at the starting 3 and that Bynum could upgrade the 5. But we would be seeing a precipitous drop in talent level at 6th man position if LO leaves. Sure, the addition of Artest and a consistent, injury free year from a developing Bynum could make up for the loss but I wouldn’t think that losing someone of LO’s talent level is the sort of change one enacts for the sake of warding off complacency.

    0
  11. My guess on Buss and Co.

    Has anyone here asked themselves what if Buss never wanted to sign LO? It’s called PR. Let’s go through the thought process just for the heck of it.

    Let’s assume that the front office and Buss do not want to re-sign LO because the payroll would increase so far over the salary cap and in effect they wouldbe giving 20-25 million just for luxury tax. How would you go about this?

    Well, you would have to demonize LO and the best way to do that is just what has happened. This board is like 90/10 against LO now even though it’s not THEIR money, lol. LO would have to be portrayed as an ungrateful, lazy, pot-smoking candy eating guy who doesn’t care about the fans and is super greedy, etc.

    I’m not saying that this situation has been fabricated to make LO look very bad. I’m just saying that if that was their [Buss’] goal, this would be the way to do it.

    0
  12. to lose one key contributor, mr. buss, may be regarded as a misfortune. to lose two looks like carelessness.

    0
  13. The loss of Lamar is an issue for the Lakers, but we fans are presenting it as a disaster. When Lamar required so much money to resign he may have endangered the team’s ability to resign both Pau and Kobe in the future – in management’s view. If that is the case, a prudent management would not cave to Lamar’s request and would be willing to risk his loss, if only to prevent a free-fall situation in a couple of years. We can more easily rebuild around a missing Lamar next year, than losing either Pau or Kobe later.

    0
  14. “So the only nugget I can report is that according to Buss Jr., Andrew Bynum is not only a good shot blocker but also a great “shot alternator” (sic).”

    Oh god, someone keep Joey Buss from talking.

    And here’s to hoping the blazers would rather rekindle their heinrich talks than make a serious run at Lamar.

    0
  15. Next years Lakers, should they end up without Odom and Ariza, but with Artest and a healthy Bynum, will likely be better than the roster that played, and won, the finals. So relax a little.

    0
  16. 182) Craig W,
    “If they were to listen to us,”

    Speak for yourself!! If they had listened to me, they would have gone undefeated last season!!

    0
  17. Forced change is often seen as a crisis in successful businesses, but it is also a chance to reshape it for even more success down the road.

    0
  18. hey friends, let’s keep things positive! this just means that next season will be just as interesting, if not more interesting, than last season. things get boring when you’re too good, anyway. this gives us a challenge. that’s what it’s about. the journey. always remember that.

    0
  19. Call me crazy, but what about sign-and-trade for Boozer? Throw in some other pieces, as well.

    Essentially, does anyone think something involving Boozer and Odom will go down? Not likely, I’m sure, but damn… how many fans of other teams would cry their eyes out.

    0
  20. #217 Shaky, not to give Joey Buss props for his public speeches, but in this case it was Jim Buss, director of player personnel if I’m not mistaken. He also said that Morrison got his bad injury in his rookie season until Joel corrected him.

    0
  21. J-Man,

    The whole point of Utah trading Boozer is to not take any salary back. It’s why they need teams like Portland and OKC to absorb some contracts with their cap space.

    0
  22. Here’s where I think the Lakers might be considering:

    Plan A: sign Lamar, This has been discussed in great detail, but now may be off the table.

    Plan B: allow Lamar to sign with the Heat for MLE. Immediate benefits only relate to reduced luxury tax.

    The Lakers could only use 2 expiring contracts (Morrison + Farmar) to trade for a quality ($7 million) veteran replacement for Lamar–unlikely until mid season.

    The Heat would take on a substantial luxury tax burden this year while still wanting to add Boozer and extend Wade–and still not meeting Lamar’s stated contract demands.

    Plan C: Heat/Lakers sign and trade: Lamar + Farmar for Beasley + Blount.

    This would give Lamar his salary demands (or close) without costing the Heat any more luxury tax this season.

    The Lakers would now have about $18 million in expiring contracts to trade this year–which could land one or two key veteran players from teams needing to shed salary for next year. These 3 players could also be “rented” for one year on a sort of trial basis.

    Plan C would appear to be the biggest win-win-win for all three parties–but difficult to put together.

    Which plan will it be?

    0
  23. dave in hillsboro July 17, 2009 at 5:55 am

    “Which plan will it be?”

    Plan A.

    0
  24. 212 – As far as big man skill at 21, I guess we define “skill” differently. Dwight was definitely just athletic/dominating, I agree. But Shaq, IMO, was very skilled. Yes, he was big, but he had a soft touch and some finesse moves and used that power correctly – he did everything offensively that Dwight doesn’t. And I’d say Kareem at 21 was probably much more skilled than Drew – arguably the greatest college player of all time. Also, at 21 Darius Miles was one of the most skilled wing player in the country. Could do almost anything on the court. Jus’ saying.

    But I definitely agree, Bynum will grow smarter and play more intelligently in a few years, and it’ll make a huge difference. Plus with Pau and Kobe, he doesn’t get the touches he needs to accelerate his growth. I don’t know if you can build a championship around him, but I think he’ll one day be one of the cornerstones of an elite team.

    0
  25. Now that it seems a done deal that Utah will keep Millsap, if I’m Portland, I just can’t see them going after Lamar for the $ and number of years that Lamar wants.

    Aldridge plays major minutes and wants big $. Portland needs to assume Oden will develop. Prizbilla is needed for Oden insurance (unlike Pau, Aldridge can’t play center). Lamar would play no more than 20 minutes a game, to pay Lamar $9-10 million for 4-5 years is a luxury Portland can’t really afford with major issues in signing Roy and Aldridge to long-term deals.

    0
  26. If the summer league became the regular season, the Warriors would be a potential dynasty.

    http://myespn.go.com/blogs/truehoop/0-42-88/Anthony-Bests-Anthony.html

    0
  27. Check out this article by Israel Gutierrez of the Miami Herald, it’s really interesting to see to what extent a ‘lakers lite’ could be built.

    The latest involves the somewhat — depending on who or what you read — possibility of Miami acquiring Carlos Boozer, a post-threat power forward from Utah, and Lamar Odom, a familiar and versatile forward who helped jump-start the latest era of Heat basketball in 2003-04.

    Other than declaring the summer of 2010 old news, which is weird because it’s still a year away, the Heat making those two moves would be following a new trend.

    Call it the Lakers design.

    The NBA isn’t as much a copycat league as the NFL, but this easily could be sold as a case attempting to build a champion in the almost exact mold of the most recent champion.

    Let’s piece this together and see just how similar looking it leaves this potential Heat team to the NBA champion Lakers.

    ………………..

    Playing the role of Kobe Bryant would be Dwyane Wade, last year’s scoring champ whose increasingly diverse game has him on par with Bryant in almost every category.

    Playing the role of Pau Gasol would be Boozer, whose career all-around numbers are similar to Gasol’s, only Boozer wouldn’t come with the ”soft” label that it took an NBA championship for Gasol to shake.

    Playing the role of Odom would be, well, Odom. Is there a need to draw comparisons there? At point guard, Mario Chalmers is no Derek Fisher, but he does have similar qualities in that his best attribute is his defense and he has a knack for hitting big shots. And the rest of the supporting role would include Beasley — who, like Andrew Bynum, has endless potential and can carry the team for brief stretches — Daequan Cook, James Jones and Jermaine O’Neal.

    That’s not even considering any other additions the Heat could make.

    It would be Lakers Southeast (though there is something of a gap between Phil Jackson and Erik Spoelstra), and it would elevate Miami into the same stratosphere as Cleveland, Boston and Orlando. Nothing would be guaranteed. Not when those other three teams have thoroughly improved, as well. But it would be what Wade has asked for: a chance.

    0
  28. Samy,

    Did you see my post (#225)?

    What you are describing is what I called Plan B. I think that Lamar, Riley, and maybe the Lakers would prefer Plan C.

    What do you think? Could it happen?

    0
  29. In my opinion I honestly don’t see LO coming back as a Laker as much as that pains me to say. I view this from a pure financial viewpoint. Buss wouldn’t be paying LO 9 million, he’d be paying 18 million due to luxury tax reasons. I see the offer as something as Buss wanting to keep the team together but ultimately doesn’t want to pay that much money to keep him. We might end up getting Sean May as AM 570 has reported him working out for the Lakers.

    That to me says the Lakers organization is preparing to move on, otherwise I don’t see Buss pulling an offer off the table simply because he felt disrespected by LO & his agent. Hopefully I’m wrong though but unless LO signs soon, I don’t see it happening.

    0
  30. What a mistake by LO and his agent if this is about money. He just lost himself 10 million dollars. Not a very good businessman if you ask me.

    0
  31. 226, Snoopy – call me a heretic, but I’ve been thinking that I’m not sure how Curry will fit on the Warriors since they already have an undersized 2 who can shoot the lights out in Anthony Morrow

    0
  32. The Lakers current salary is $84M + $14M in luxury tax = $98M. That is not only a lot of cabbage, but is tops in the league, I think. This is without Lamar Odom.

    drrayeye, I think this argues against your plan #C. If Buss is going to pay substantially more luxury tax, I think the Lakers will want a very integrated and effective return for that extra cash. Only Lamar can yield this. Other players must learn to fit themselves into the Laker system.

    I think this salary figure argues for Plans #A or #B.

    0
  33. Incidentally, Boston is at $79M, New Orleans at $78M (no wonder they are not active this summer) along with Orlando, and Cleveland is at $77M.

    Miami is at $70M, so they are at the Luxury Tax level.

    0
  34. Craig,

    I think that the Lakers clearly wanted a Lamar Odom deal in the range of the MLE–for the reasons that you mentioned. When they were drawn higher and higher, they finally rebelled. Unless Lamar himself asks the Lakers to reconsider at significantly lower amounts than the final offer, I think Plan A will stay off the table.

    Which leads to Plan B. However, neither Lamar not the Heat especially like Plan B–and the Lakers are not enthralled to lose Lamar either.

    Wich leads to Plan C.

    I personally find all three credible.

    0
  35. More and more, I think that money is not the main issue with Odom. I think that he doesn’t especially want to stay with the Lakers, but will if they pay him enough. If they aren’t willint to, he is OK with going somewhere else for less money.

    0
  36. If the Lakers could get Beasley, they might have to bite the bullet.

    Riley is desperate to keep DWade in Miami, unless Lamar wants to take less to play there, that leaves the S&T.

    Still, this is depressing.

    0
  37. Rough off-season.

    I still am hoping the Lakers and L.O. reach an agreement, but if not hopefully Mitch can work some magic, the guy has a good track record lately.

    0
  38. exhelodrvr,
    Lamar has never expressed frustration with playing on the Laker team. The only thing I can think of is that his agent is putting in his mind that he is better than he has shown over the years and he wants to make a run at being the #2 guy again in Miami.

    He failed that test in Los Angeles and we needed to get Pau. Perhaps he would like another try – he sure won’t get it here.

    This would seem to be a really stupid reason for all this commotion, but, perhaps.

    0
  39. I read on one of those twitter pages, daily news, or pincus, that the Lakers are done with LO, looking elsewhere, and working out Sean May…?? I guess he was a lottery pick who was kind of a bust, anyone know anyhting more about this? how would this work? is he on a team currently? does he have potential?
    thoughts??

    0
  40. 238, it’s mostly years that is the issue. Lamar wants a long term commitment from the Lakersl; the Lakers don’t want to give him a long term commitment. I don’t see any basis whatsoever for your saying he doesn’t want to be on the team.

    0
  41. I’m beginning to resign myself to the fact that we may very well carry out the ring ceremony without Trevor and LO. What a shame.

    I think in LO’s situation winning is not a huge consideration any longer, because he has a ring now. And we all know that Lamar isn’t the most driven guy in the world.

    There is part of me that thinks that Jerry Buss never really wanted the payroll that high, and that both Trevor and LO weren’t courted as thoroughly as perhaps they could have been. MLE-money for a few years was all the FO was prepared to offer.

    This team is may become Bynum/Kobe/Pau + assorted role players at discount prices. For better or for worse, it seems.

    0
  42. Zephid,
    I suspect you are right. However, with Pau and Kobe contracts coming up and Bynum’s deal being only three years, the Laker’s can’t afford to make another large commitment of money over a long time. I don’t see this ending well for Lamar unless he changes his tune.

    0
  43. talk abt miami coming close to a 9mio offer for lamar over at espn.. how is this possible?

    0
  44. Zephid (243),

    I do see some basis in ex’s position. Remember LO’s initial reaction to coming off the bench? It’s reasonable to surmise that he just doesn’t like coming off the bench.

    Moreover, surely he realizes that as a front court bench player behind Pao and Bynum, his minutes are bound to decrease as Bynum strengthens and improves. In fact, his minutes might decrease significantly and quickly enough to the point that he becomes superfluous and expendable, i.e., trade fodder for other needs in the near future–point guard leaps to mind.

    So, it may not be that he dissatisfied with L.A., per say, but doubtful about his long-term sustainability here. He has more control in a setting where he can start and demonstrate his worth.

    0
  45. snoopy,

    Shaq –i will agree with you that Shaq had incredible skill. Still not on the same level as Bynum at the same age though. Not to mention that Shaq is an all-time top 10 player!

    I must concede that i’m not old enough to even remember Kareem playing basketball, nevertheless Kareem at 21 years old, lol.

    0
  46. I agree with Zephid and Craig – years has to be the issue. With the collective bargaining agreement set to expire in two seasons contract length is going to loom large in any negotiation as teams don’t want to over commit to players and players want that extra security beyond 2011 when the union is likely to make several concessions to the league in regards to contract length and annual raise percentage. The Lakers have set themselves up well in this regard with it’s deals for Sasha and Bynum (and maybe Artest – depending on how he uses his player option). And they’re surely trying to do the same thing with Odom. Pau’s contract exprires right when the CBA would be renewed, so he’ll probably feel the effects of this most as he’s a major piece of the puzzle and will be looking for a re-up. It will actually be very interesting to see if Pau’s agent looks for an extention next summer (ala Kobe this summer) rather than going into his FA year with so much uncertainty surrounding the future of player contracts and the CBA negotiations.

    0
  47. …guess no one has any thoughts about my post at 242…I’m asking these basketball minds about the scenario the Lakers are moving on, frmo LO, working out Sean May, and how this might work? don’t know much about him, but this was the midnight twitter buzz, between pincus and that chick at the daily news…

    0
  48. Also, Kaveh, a player that never gets his due at that age is Duncan. He came into the league at 21 and was instantly and all NBA player with tremendous skill on both offense and defense. People also forget that he was pretty athletic (not Amare or Howard like but still) as he hadn’t suffered any of those knee/ankle injuries yet. I really like Bynum, and he’s showing increased polish, but it’s a bit hyperbole to say he’s the most skilled big at his age. Besides Duncan, I think Bill Walton would be in that conversation as well.

    0
  49. Is it really possible for Miami to offer the same amount the Lakers are offering ($9 million)? How would that be possible?!

    0
  50. Sean May’s professional story (from wiki):
    In April 2005, May declared that he would forgo his senior year at UNC to enter the NBA Draft. He was selected 13th overall by the Charlotte Bobcats, becoming one of a record four Tar Heels to be lottery picks in the 2005 NBA Draft. He started his professional career strongly by being named MVP of the Rocky Mountain Revue summer league. An injury in December, however, cut his rookie season short. On October 5, 2007, May announced that he had decided to have micro fracture surgery on his right knee and would likely miss the entire 2007-08 NBA season,[3] which is what occurred.[4] The effects of the surgery affected him the following season (2008-09), as he experienced conditioning problems,[5][6][7][8][9] tiredness,[10] and tendinitis.[11] On December 30, 2008, May was deemed physically unfit to play, making Bobcats coach Larry Brown place him on the inactive list for the foreseeable future.[4] On June 23, 2009, ESPN News reported that the Charlotte Bobcats declined to make a qualifying offer for the 4 year of his rookie contract, making him an unrestricted free agent.

    0
  51. Darius,

    Duncan is a power forward, but i get your point. Duncan was a great talent at 21. But then again, Duncan is also a top 10 player of all time. The point of my post was to say that Bynum’s potential warranted a contract extension. The fact that people have to bring out KAreem, Duncan and Shaq is evidence of that reality in my book.

    0
  52. (245) (251) The Heat can offer Lamar any amount under a sign and trade–see my Plan C above (#225).

    Would the Lakers participate? Only under the right circumstances–but they’d have to be interested–no?

    0
  53. no no NO to sean may. He is like a poor man’s Glen Davis, body-type and all

    0
  54. Craig,
    “Lamar has never expressed frustration with playing on the Laker team”

    He did last off-season; he wasn’t thrilled about coming off of the bench. I’m sure that he still isn’t thrilled about it.

    0
  55. Aaron, 253,

    I agree that I would prefer to see Fisher coming off the bench. But there is no point guard in the league I would rather have taking a pressure-packed money shot than Derek Fisher.

    0
  56. 242. Sean May is the kind of guy you get for the Vet’s minimum. I would put it this way, he’s no Josh Powell.

    Re: Miami and the $9 mil, Drrayeye is correct, the only way that is happening is a sign and trade. And the only reason for the Lakers to do that is they get something back in return that is worth it. Without it, Miami can only offer th MLE ($5.8).

    0
  57. Sean May did have some good PER ratings in his first two years, though there is a sample size alert. The Lakers just might get a bang for their buck.

    0
  58. Sign and trade: I suspect Miami would have to get another club involved to pull this off. The other club would have to provide a trade exemption to the Lakers, as the Lakers are not going to take on an equivalent $9M-$11M just to help out Lamar. I see the Lakers taking on no more salary than the MLE in any Lamar trade and that MLE better be able to provide upside, i.e. Beasley.

    0
  59. Coffee is for Closers July 17, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I heard the bucher interview on 710 last night, and with all sports talk radio, there’s a bit of wanting to stir it up. it was obvious from bucher’s comment that “the lakers never offered a 4th year, because if they had, we wouldn’t be having this conversation” that he’s obviously being fed information from LO’s agent.

    like others have said, he’s been consistently wrong when it comes to lakers inside info, so his comment that the lakers have moved on is be taken with a huge grain of salt.

    0
  60. Maybe LO would rather reign in hell- start for a team where success is defined as getting out of the first round versus serving in heaven- 6th man on a Championship team.

    Disease of me strikes again.

    0
  61. I agree with Darius/Zephid/Craig that it’s the years. Everywhere I look now, even ESPN, it says the Lakers never offered the 4th yr…despite what Ramona and ETeaford keep saying. Even Bucher, Stein, Pincus, etc., keep saying the issue is the 4th year. If you are gonna offer 3, I don’t see the big deal for the 4th. I can see 5 and 3 being a bigger deal, almost twice as long, but just one more year at 4? That seems unreasonable.

    None of this should surprise us tho the way LA handled Trevor. Sure, his agent was being obnoxious and I hated the media play right off the bat, but, LA didn’t even bother to stick around for more than a few hours it seems. Right to Artest. Trevor agreed literally like 30 minutes after Artest did, more like a reactive move instead of an actual decision. I just don’t like how that all unfolded. I get the whole not wanting to be left without options, but dismissing Trevor almost a day into free agency was a little abrupt if you ask me. Now we may be just letting LO walk? Sorry I don’t subscribe to any theory whatsoever that makes this better or interesting…like Kurt said, a lot has to go right by replacing 2 of our top 5 players with 1 mercurial talent, even if that talent is extraordinary.

    Maybe all this worrying is for naught though…who knows. I’ve been seeing unsubstantiated rumors everywhere for the last few days (like LO never asked for 5/50, never offered 4, to turning down 3 and 4, meeting Buss in Hawaii to speak mano y mano, signing 4/36, 5/33 to the Heat, etc). Who the hell knows what’s actually happening. Seems like a lot of public, and private, posturing to me. The whole notion that Buss is offended by a lack of a response or what he considered an unreasonable request from Odom, or his agent talked to MIA/DAL when they told him to find other offers, it just reeks of nonsense.

    These grown men are playing children’s games now…be a man, suck it up, and get this ****** thing done. Like Hollinger said, they keep raising the pot with weak hands and nowhere else to go. The best option for both sides is standing right in from of the other.

    0
  62. 258, so you’re basing this surmise on one statement Lamar made in the off-season, even though he didn’t make a peep when the season started, throughout the entire season, and all the way through our playoff run?

    And Darius makes a good point about the CBA expiring. When the owners opt out of the CBA next December, they’re going to install a much more team-friendly CBA. This will lead to smaller contracts, less of them guaranteed, and more incentives. Lamar wants to lock in as much value as he possibly can, now, given that in a couple years, he may never have the chance to make this kind of money again.

    For those making the, “what if we can’t re-up Kobe and Pau” argument, keep in mind that Ammo’s, Fisher’s, and Vujacic’s EC’s will all expire or have expired by the summer of 2011. That’s $15 million extra dollars that we can spread around. Assuming both Kobe and Pau extend their contracts for the max, they each get a raise of 10.5% the following year. That’ll be $2.4 million for Kobe, and $1.7 million for Pau. So even after all the extensions, we’ve still got more than $11 million more than we have to work with now.

    So we’re really only biting the bullet big time for this coming year. After that, we have enough mid-size contracts coming off the books that our payroll will be down to a much more sane level, albeit still as a taxpayer.

    0
  63. We may have mid-sized contracts coming off the books, but we still need 13 players on the squad and we would like them to be somewhat serviceable players who can function in the triangle.

    Andrew only got three years for a reason – the Lakers wanted to reduce the risk he may be injury prone. Lamar will only get three years because he is 30 and not a one/two/three option on this club.

    0
  64. 1.) If Portland successfully targets another player and uses up their capspace, then Odom’s leverage pretty much disappears and he may be forced to take whatever the Lakers give him.
    2.) If Portland targets Odom, then his leverage increases.

    To me, the course of action Odom/agent Jeff Schwartz have taken rests on their perception of the free agent strategies of both Portland and New York.

    Remember: Having not taken LAL’s offer, Odom/Schwartz really believe there is a better offer out there. To secure the best deal possible, they assume the Blazers are going to make Odom an offer; and they assume that eventually they can pry their ideal contract from either LAL or Portland. So:

    1.) Odom/Schwartz assume Portland targets Odom after Millsap.
    Or:
    2.) Odom/Schwartz assume Portland targets David Lee after Millsap. And they assume the Knicks are going match an offer sheet for David Lee or sign-and-trade him for expiring contracts/picks.
    And:
    3.) Odom/Schwartz assume Portland will eventually make them an offer.

    If Schwartz is worth his salt as an agent, he’ll have foreseen this scenario. If he fails, he will have cost his client a lot of money.

    If this is the scenario Buss has in mind, too, then it explains why he pulled the offer. Portland’s contract offer would probably start low, and not at $9M.

    0
  65. so, will our role players come from the draft? Journeymen? Europe?

    0
  66. #254. Kaveh,
    I see your point. I too think Bynum has the potential to be a special talent. And for that, you pay him.

    0
  67. “Lamar already knows how I feel,” Wade said. “I really don’t know how to feel”

    And people wonder why athletes get a rep for being empty headed.

    If Lamar leaves, he leaves. Past champions have dealt with more.

    0
  68. OT, Tiger misses the cut at the Open!…Noooo!

    0
  69. 267

    “258, so you’re basing this surmise on one statement Lamar made in the off-season, even though he didn’t make a peep when the season started, throughout the entire season, and all the way through our playoff run?”

    It’s one thing to do that for one season, with the possibility of a first ever championship as the carrot – especially when you’re still getting starter’s minutes (and even taking over as a starter for half the season, as it turns out). However, if he stays with the Lakers he will be committing to that role for the rest of his career, and if Bynum stays healthy and develops as expected Odom’s minutes and importance will surely dwindle as well.

    Obviously nobody knows what Odom is thinking, but it is entirely possible that he is hesitant to spend the rest of his career as a backup. The fact that he held his tongue last season doesn’t prove otherwise. I can definitely see where exhelodrvr is coming from with that theory.

    0
  70. 266. Chise, it is the Lakers themselves that are saying they offered four years. Odom’s people are saying they never did. Maybe one side is lying, maybe the Lakers offered three with a team option for four.

    Again, anybody who tells Stein or Ramona or anyone something is doing so for a reason, to promote their side. It’s like watching cable news and thinking the Republican or Democrat brought on to talk about health care is really telling you the entire truth. They are spinning some truth, using some scare tactics and doing whatever else works to make their point. Honestly, we will likely never know the truth.

    0
  71. If I were the Lakers my stance would be NO sign-and-trade. If LO leaves it’ll be for the MLE leaving a significant amount of money on the table from the Lakers.

    I would make it clear his choices are A) to sign for the MLE with another club or B) sign with the Lakers for whatever it is they are offering (much more than the MLE even if it’s not what he is looking for).

    This way the gray areas of “how much can I get if I do a sign-and-trade” are eliminated and there are two finite options. And it’s another way of telling him ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too’.

    0
  72. 276,

    That’s definitely a good way to draw a line in the sand. What would make it an even stronger statement would be to go ahead and sign someone to a veteran’s minimum immediately, as well.

    0
  73. 276,

    So our justification for not doing is a sign-and-trade is so we can stick it to Lamar? If we hit a point in which differences become irreconcilable, then taking a sign-and-trade is better than dealing with the reality that Josh Powell (or Joe Smith, Drew Gooden, or Chris Wilcox) will be our first big man off the bench. I’m not entirely comfortable with that.

    0
  74. Yes, the Lakers are a sports industry cash cow. But they’re not the New York Yankees and their bank account has its limits. Simply put, the Lakers can’t afford to give ace-like salaries to their No. 4 or 5 pitchers, if you will.

    They’ve already committed huge money to Kobe and Pau as options 1 and 2, with Bynum getting No. 3 money and the expectation that he’ll develop into that third key star. Artest would be a top two or three player on most teams, so he’s a bargain as the Lakers’ fourth option getting the MLE.

    I think the world of Odom and would like to see him back, but let’s face it — there’s only one ball on the floor.

    Would Odom get enough floor time to warrant $9 million a year? Perhaps, but at who’s expense?

    If management has committed to Bynum — which it has to the tune of $58 million over four years — paying $9 million a year for a sixth-man is a lot of money, even more so given the luxury tax.

    If Bynum and Pau are healthy and effective, Odom’s role would lessen. $18 million a season is lot to spend on a guy who’s not your best (or second-best) player, not your top box office draw and not your star of the future.

    If money weren’t an issue, this is a different story – bring Lamar back for depth and insurance against injury should another big go down. But the market doesn’t show he’s a $9 million player now, and even if his loss makes the team seem weaker on the floor next season, I understand where Mitch and Buss are coming from in taking a hard line here.

    0
  75. 274, it’s one thing to claim that something is a possibility. It is another thing altogether to claim that you are certain of it. I’m not saying you did, Joel, but exhelodrvr clearly says that he is sure.

    Yes, there is a possibility that Lamar feels that way, but I think that’s extrapolating one statement a little too far.

    I’m not so sure about Lamar wanting a bigger role. His well-documented lack of focus seems to me like evidence to the contrary. If he was so focused on the limelight, it would seem he should be more intense while on the court. He just seems much too “laissez-faire” for me to believe that his lack of a bigger role would affect his decision.

    0
  76. how are the heat able to offer 5 years 35 mil, is that what odom would receive with a sign and trade?

    0
  77. Fans continually present the sign-and-trade as an option better than letting Lamar walk. With a current salary base of $84M, before luxury tax, that is not really the case.

    A sign-and-trade will cost the Lakers an additional $9M-$11M this year, and possibly have ramifications in the future. This is above any salary they have to take on in the trade. This is why a sign-and-trade must include a trade exemption that actually saves the Lakers twice the amount of the exemption. Without this the sign-and-trade has very little value to the Lakers.

    0
  78. At this point, I just have to say what I’m sure is on many other fans’ minds – I’m not sure I can take another week of this waiting on tenterhooks. The whole range of rumors flying at this point is getting quite dizzying, and when you’re as hopeful for LO coming back as I am, you can easily lose your self-control and check FBG/ESPN/Yahoo etc every five minutes.

    I’ll say one thing that I don’t think has been said yet, and it’s really one of my main reasons for wanting Lamar back (outside of the fact that he just plain makes us better)- the Lakers were fun to watch when LO was on the court. It’s probably just me seeing what the stats have already said, but they seemed to play with more energy and a more exciting game with LO around. This is the same reason why I was sad to see Ariza go, because I’m fairly certain Ron Artest won’t generate as many fast breaks as TA did, but to lose the fun of watching both TA and LO in a three week timespan will be tough to deal with.

    0
  79. 283,

    A sign-and-trade would have a big payroll hit this year and not in the long-term. We’re getting back the same total in salary that we would have used to sign Lamar in any case. So if hypothetically Miami traded us Beasley and Blount’s expiring, we would only have a significant luxury tax hit this year until Blount’s contract expires (and this would give us about $15 million in expiring contracts this year to throw about).

    0
  80. 278. Not to stick it to Lamar, to discourage him from seeking a sign-and-trade.

    And yes, to say “we’re not going to enable you to leave. If you want to get above the MLE you need to deal with us.” I just think it narrows his options–not to be jerkoffs to him–but as a negotiating tool, even if it may be considered ‘hardball’.

    0
  81. Kurt (275): I agree. We may never know. I’m just of the opinion it has to be the years because I do not see any conceivable way he’s serious about taking 5/33 (and change) over 4/36 IF that was actually offered.

    WRT this somehow hampering our ability to keep Kobe or Gasol…please. Those guys are top 10/15 talents in the league. The FO will not squabble over dollars with either no matter how far we’re over the tax (unless they’re like 35-38, which is further along than we are talking regarding the championship window we are in right now). And as Zephid pointed out, first year extension cannot be over X percent of the previous year…not that much of a big deal.

    A couple other things I find somewhat peculiar to do…blame the tax that will be incurred. The ridiculous contracts we gave out to Sasha, Luke, and Radman are just as much to blame for the tax as whatever we give LO . And Jerry Buss has an estimated net work of at least 380 million (a few years back on the numbers but haven’t heard he’s lost money on the Lakers so figure it’s higher).

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/2005-salary-owners.htm

    He gave 8 million to USC last year (guess he used to teach there. Gives away a lot of money to charities, poker tourneys, etc. Even brags about how much he’ll spend for Lakers (and this was before the championship)…

    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/nov/10/sports/sp-buss10

    I just cannot see how he’s hurting for money or will ever be (Lakers are worth over 600 million where he could conceivably sell if he ever gets in a bind). I don’t know. Like we always say, it’s not my money, but the guy supposedly pockets some $40 million dollars as profit every year. And we’ve constantly been tax payers. I’m hopeful this just gets done/resolved soon because it’s driving me nuts (it shouldn’t but I can’t help it I love the Lakers/NBA).

    0
  82. Hasn’t this been a great off-season so far, lots to talk about and waiting to see what happends in Lakerland. Much better than last year for sure, in my book at least.

    “Nothing gives a person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” – unknown

    0
  83. If the Lakers are openly willing to do a sign-and-trade then Miami’s a viable option for Lamar and another rival to the Lakers for his services.

    Without a sign-and-trade the only option for Lamar and the only competition for the Lakers is Portland.

    If Lamar says “I’m not coming back, I don’t want to be here even if it means settling for the MLE” then the Lakers have two choices: call his bluff or take it at face value.

    Then either Lamar or the Lakers can initiate talks about a sign-and-trade that may benefit both parties. But those are entierely different negotiations than the ones the Lakers should concern themselves with and should be a last resort

    0
  84. Lamar is a great fit in Miami. That’s one of the few teams where he’ll actually be almost as valuable as he is to the Lakers. That team has a superstar in Wade, a legit low-post scoring option in O’Neal, an up-and-coming scoring machine in Beasley, and a bunch of role-player shooters (Cook, Jones, Quinn, Chalmers). They even got their bruiser/enforcer in Haslem. Lamar wouldn’t need to be a scorer on that team, he would simply need to once again be a glue guy who rebounds, ignites a fast break and sets up his teammates.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4336149

    From my understanding, the 5 years $35mil deal offered to Odom is -almost- as good as the Lakers’ offer (I stress ‘almost’) because of the lack of taxes and maybe extra incentives (like a signing bonus?) And with the current CBA expiring very soon, I can see how Lamar would jump on that.

    P.S.

    Sean May is a terrible fit. I’m surprised our FO is working him out. The guy has had his work ethic and conditioning questioned since the draft night when he was taken.

    0
  85. 280 zephid

    Laissez-faire means “hands off.” It doesn’t mean lazy. In economic terms it means a purely free market economy. I think it came when a Frenchman responded to some government official and said “laissez-faire,” meaning keep your hands off of my decisions/money/property/business.

    0
  86. 5/34-35 is the MLE with it’s 10% a year raises.

    0
  87. (288) Orlando can offer more than the MLE. They got an exemption from the Hedo deal. I’m surprized they haven’t expressed interest.

    It’s hard for Portland to go over $10 million for an FA–and would be especially difficult for them to give multiple years for a player so much older than everyone else.

    Miami may be the only team that actually wants Lamar-and they can’t go over the MLE without talking with the Lakers. Of course, who would be more knowledgeable about such negotiations than Pat Riley?

    0
  88. if we lose LO without a s&t, what are the chances of us picking up something better than what we can get with an LO-s&t when the trade deadline comes around (when we can benefit from teams trading when they’re weakened / panicking)?

    the blazers are probably better off not signing LO for the sake of what they can pick up before the trade deadline of feb ’10. but they have capspace and trade-friendly assets and we don’t.

    0
  89. 294: drrayeye: No Orlando cannot. That’s a trade exception…not injury. I don’t think trade exceptions can be used to sign players outright.

    0
  90. 289.

    Like LO, O’Neal, Beasley, & Haslem are best at the 4 spot. I don’t see how LO would be a natural fit with a bunch of guys who play his position.

    Has far as May is concerned, we need to sign a warm body with the vet minimum to meet our roster requirements. May had enough talent to dominate college and get drafted in the lottery, so why not take a look?

    0
  91. (293) Chise, maybe I’m confused, but I thought that the whole purpose of participating in the multiteam deal was to have an exemption that could be used to sign another player instead of nothing. Why else would Orlando have participated?

    0
  92. Stuck In Alabama July 17, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Laissez-Faire means “let do”

    Trickle down economics.

    0
  93. 290, laissez-faire means “let it be,” in which case I was referring to Lamar being a very “if it happens, it happens” type guy. And I didn’t intend it to mean lazy, even in the slightest. It was supposed to mean that he doesn’t really care about stuff that much.

    0
  94. drrayeye (1:50)- The trade exception. I’m not sure if it can be packaged or not, but either way, Orlando has a huge trade exception it can send to any team and take back players (around Turk’s first year salary as part of the sign and trade). They just didn’t want to lose Turk for nothing.

    0
  95. Ugh…that’s two comments awaiting moderation now.

    Drrayeye: to not lose Turk for nothing basically. They can send the exception to other teams and take back players.

    0
  96. Using Orlando as a third team (not likely, as they are currently at $78M) would allow Miami to give the Lakers one lower salaried player and Orlando one lower salaried player – Orlando would give the Lakers the trade exemption – Lakers would give Miami Lamar. The Lakers receive one lower salaried player and the trade exemption and Orlando gets an additional player to help their team.

    0
  97. French Teacher speaking here:

    Laisser-faire means let do, let be, hands-off in the sense of non-interventionism; it’s the opposite of regulate or intervene.

    0
  98. This is killing me. With Artest and Lamar, I believe we should be overwhelming favorites to repeat– four all-stars or potential all-stars in the starting line-up as well as the second best 6th man in the league, along with 3 very different 7 footers to mix and match. Without Lamar, I think we’ll fade back into the pack with the Spurs, Denver, Boston, and maybe Portland. Doesn’t mean we can’t repeat, but I’d see it as fortuitous, rather than predestined. Please, LO, please!!

    0
  99. http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2009/07/like-the-facebook-status-of-a-girl-angry-at-her-boyfriend-free-agency-its-complicated.html

    what’s the FB&G consensus is on the actual offer to LO that buss pulled off the table. bucher / stein or LAT / LADN?

    0
  100. RE Trade Exceptions: They occur when the team trading a player sends that player to a team with cap space to absorb the contract without having to give back the “equal or within X million + 125%” contract(s) back in the trade. When talking about Orlando/Toronto, the Raptors were under the cap so they accepted a trade for Turk and allowed Orlando to receive a trade exception. Many times, this type of deal is done because the team doing the trading owns the players Bird’s Rights which entitles him to higher raises than if the team with cap-space signed them outright. Basically, the contract that Orland signed Turk to (and then traded) was worth more than any contract that Toronto could have signed Turk to outright. This is a win/win for the player and the team that trades that player because the player gets a bigger contract and the team gets a trade exception. AND the team that receives the player in the trade get’s their man. Everyone is happy.

    As for why Orlando would want a large trade exception: Just look at what the Sonics did two seasons ago when they acquired Kurt Thomas from the Suns. When the “Sonics” signed and traded Rashard Lewis to Orlando, they generated a large trade exception. That exception allowed them to take the salary of Kurt Thomas off the hands of the Suns who were looking to dump payroll because of the luxury tax. But, in order to get the Sonics to bite on that deal, Phoenix had to include TWO first round picks! Basically, by simply using their heads and getting Orlando to agree to a S&T, the Sonics were able to get two first round picks. Fast forward to Orlando/Toronto and the Hedo S&T, and you can see why Orlando might want a large trade exception. That exception can be a valuable asset when not only improving your team this season (Team X dumping high priced Vet to shed payroll), but it can also be an asset to improve your team in the future (take on salary of player X, but only if you throw in some cash or draft picks to make it happen).

    Sorry for the long post, I’m kinda bored of talking Lamar.

    0
  101. 303, well then, seems to me as though we’re all correct. Thanks Laker Kev.

    0
  102. Sorry, I’m back to talk more LO apparently.

    han, I would bet that all sources are right, they’re just talking to different people from the different camps. My bet is that the LATimes and Daily News are getting fed their info from the Team. And I bet the team isn’t being 100% honest because I would almost guarantee that any fourth year is either a team option or only partially guaranteed. I would also bet that the ESPN guys are getting their info from the Agent. And that the Agent isn’t being 100% honest because they probably have recieved a 4 year offer, it’s just not a guaranteed 4 years. What I do like though, is that neither side is really giving up the entire story and that leads me to believe that there is still wiggle room to work this out. Once you leak everything and everyone knows every detail, you really pin the other side against the wall and don’t allow them to save face in the end. This can lead to hard feelings and deals falling apart even if both sides would rather it didn’t – pride can be a tough hurdle to get over.

    Also, that LAT report mentions Bucher’s famous reports on Kobe back during that spat. Who would doubt that Bucher’s “sources” saying Kobe would never play for the Lakers again was Kobe’s Agent or people in his camp? I bring this up because as the LAT report claims, beat writers normally are more tied in locally and usually have sources inside a team. National guys like Stein or Bucher usually have sources in certain teams, but also have Agents as a lot of their primary sources. I really am bored.

    0
  103. Ode to Odom

    A versatile big man
    Who can play just about every spot.
    An energetic enigma
    Who can contribute without a shot.

    From high price near all star
    To too soft to win when needed.
    All of those perceptions changed
    When this year our team succeeded.

    We witnessed the inconsistent,
    But more frequently all the good.
    Other teams questioned your heart
    But we true fans understood.

    We thought it was time
    For you to sign on for more glory.
    But apparently you and your agent
    Wanted to write a different story.

    You wanted more money
    So Buss upped the MLE to $9.
    You wanted more years
    So Mitch offered four and thought, fine.

    Now the trade rumors rumble
    And the winds of change are near.
    The successful number 7
    May be gone many fear.

    So should push come to shove
    And you leave for South Beach,
    Well, we thank you for your efforts
    But know that, for you,
    another ring will be out of reach.

    0
  104. thanks darius for the additional LO talk. would you mind a bit more of that, my question @ 294? it was in moderation for awhile. thanks again

    0
  105. 294. Han, it’s really hard to predict who will be available at the trade deadline because it depends on both where teams are in the standings and how they are drawing at the gate (do they need to shed salary). That said, this is the TRADE deadline, meaning you have to give up for what you get. And deals with prospects for front line talent (ala the Gasol deal) are by far the exception, not the rule. Which is my way of saying that some combo of Morrison’s expiring deal and Farmar (or whoever) is not likely to bring you someone of Odom’s quality. And if it does it will come with long term financial costs.

    0
  106. Good players come and go, its a thing call free agency that makes all this relevant. It will happen to some players you like and some you don’t, the good thing is that another player on the team will get a chance to show how valuable they are to the team next year if LO decides to leave. It is truly up to LO to make the decision to stay or go, not his agent. I can live wtih either decision he makes, being a LAKER fan will carry me through

    0
  107. Coffee is for Closers July 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    This is a great site for all your salary cap questions:

    http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#37

    0
  108. Fun note from here in Vegas (from off the record source): The Clippers FO wants Sessions. The owner has no idea who that is but knows he can sell seats with Iverson. The owner always wins these tug of wars. The FO throws up its hands.

    0
  109. i do not want this to be a boston 08-09 season that started with significant losses and ended with injuries and an early exit. that said, we got artest and if the mob steps up, we are more or less as gifted as the one last year. those are hinged on significant what ifs.

    if anything, i think the FO knows they have to balance banking and banking to win. so in buss and mitch i trust. God i do hope they are stirring up something suprising and nice…something that will get LO thinking why in the world would he not want to be a laker for more than fair gain. i also agree that s and t hits us for this year, or at least make it so. with blount and other expiring contracts, we get big money for a young prospect and a decent role player by midyear to bolster us to another level. i just don’t want us watching LO walk and think that it’s about economics and we’re still good enough to win it. the league is molding against us and some of them on paper look like they can get ahead of us (looking at the bench).

    i smell something brewing. God please make next week the week when we let this unfold and hold high the purple and gold. great ode btw! GO LAKERS!

    0
  110. No sweat Zephid, love your posts.

    0
  111. lol… have the clips officially offered anything to AI? not sure about this, but isn’t it cheaper to offer the MLE to AI than trying to get sessions?

    0
  112. The sign n trade deal with the Heat is not worth it. Beasley is not a true PF and they have nothing but shooting guards on there roster to package with him. The LAKERS have enough 2 guards and need a quality point, so to me the team would just be taking the same amount in salary back, but not getting a needed asset in return. If the Heat is the only team LO is willing to go to in a sign n trade deal, make him take less money by letting him walk outright. If another team he is willing to go to has a quality point that could be a fixture for years to come, then I say make the move, but otherwise just look for a player at the vet min.

    0
  113. 296.

    O’Neal does not have the speed or quickness to play against & guard today’s hybrid 4s. He is a center in today’s league. Miami came out and said that Beasley will play next season at the 3 spot – something that should’ve been done from the beginning because he is simply not big enough to man the 4. The only “true” 4 they have is Haslem, who will be the first big off the bench if LO signs.

    As far as May goes, in college he was surrounded by other great college players and not having many taller/bigger defenders on him to defer him from the basket. The guy is injury prone, lacks enthusiasm and hasn’t been in shape since.. ever. He’s not an NBA player as of now (not to say he doesn’t have potential, but his lackadaisical approach to gym has shown teams he’s never gonna live up to it)

    0
  114. 3 unrestricted FAs – LO, TA, SB – and the Lakers end up with SB. who saw that coming?

    better get ready to use the Veteran’s Minimum for someone who desperately wants to win a ring; e.g., Starbury, Iverson(!), Szczerbiak(?)

    0
  115. Coffee is for Closers July 17, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Yes, getting AI to help show your young players like Gordon, Thornton and Griffin how to be a real pro – wii be another brilliant move in the annals of clipper history.

    boston to get marquis daniels – decent pick up for them, a poor man’s james posey.

    0
  116. Funky Chicken July 17, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Seems that a lot of folks here only remember the LO from the playoffs and not the LO from the last 4 years. I recall a guy who was thoroughly undependable, who never works to improve his game in the offseason (10 years and counting, no right hand), who misses free throws and smiles about it, and who is every bit as likely to put up 6 points and 8 boards as he is to get a double-double.

    The Lakers don’t need LO to win a title. Their starting 5 will be one of the best the league has ever seen. The same people who only remember LO’s playoff performance seem to only remember Andrew Bynum’s playoff performance. Recall that this kid rounded himself into shape and became a truly dominant center this year (in December and early January) before getting hurt.

    Unless you think he won’t be healthy (and what are you basing that thought on), you should realize that the 2009/10 Lakers will have the best center in the west, the best shooting guard in the west, the best power forward in the west (yes, Duncan is now old) and one of the top 3 small forwards in the west. Seems to me that this group is more than capable of handling the loss of LO’s 12 points per game….

    0
  117. Coffee is for Closers July 17, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    nba expert ric bucher (smirk) tweets heat have not offered a contract to LO as reported by some.

    0
  118. If the Clips take Iverson we will officially be back in the Bad Donald era. Sell a few seats this year, reduce the teams flexibility in the future.

    0
  119. Funky Chicken,
    We fans are always guilty of thinking the immediate past – we can’t remember past the last two months – will determine the future.

    It is a good thing the FO and Phil Jackson realize that team building is a continuing process that doesn’t ever end.

    Fan assumptions:
    – Last year’s bench was fairly mediocre, outside of Lamar; therefore next year’s bench will be mediocre without Lamar.
    – Andrew Bynum couldn’t compete at the highest level in the playoffs, against the best competition; therefore he won’t be able to compete next year.
    – Kobe Bryant’s statistics were down last year; therefore he is starting to go downhill and we need to panic.

    We want simple answers to complex questions and refuse to think beyond the obvious.

    0
  120. Yes, Lakers probably fo not _need_ Odom to win another championship. But without him it’s gonna to be much harder. The margin of error would be non existant.

    Orlando will be much stronger this season. Howard will be better, Carter>Turkoglu (please, it’s not even close), and the most important part – Nelson will be healthy.

    Boston will be stronger – with healthy Garnett. Of course it will be also older, but the Lakers will be older too.

    Cleveland should be stronger.

    Spurs will be stronger – if Ginobili is healthy.

    Blazers will be more experienced, and they will be stronger too, they will use this $7M for somebody.

    As for Lakers – for my money Artest < Ariza, at least in the context of Lakers needs, offensive system etc. Now subtract Odom, a very efficient and irreplaceable player. What do we get?

    It is true that Gasol/Bryant/Bynum are a supertrio. It is possible that Fisher/Bryant/Artest/Gasol/Bynum is the best starting five. But what about the bench?

    I could live with Walton. Brown should be an OK PG backup. So we are set at the backcourt (when Bryant gets rest we could shift Artest to SG and play Walton at SF). But what about PF/C?

    Powell and Mbenga are basically replacement level. Last season we have one of the deepest frontline. Without Odom we are very thin, even without injuries. And this time an injury means hasta la vista.

    0
  121. Zephid,
    Sorry, let me rephrase that. I think it is extremely highly likely that Lamar does not want to come off the bench. That is based on his comments last summer, as well as every indication I have ever seen or heard of virtually any athlete. Just because he did a good job coming off the bench, and accepted that role, does not mean that he prefers coming off the bench.

    But you’re right, technically. I am not SURE of it.

    0
  122. … Now that the Utah Jazz have matched the Portland offer to Paul Millsap, once again the Blazers have money to offer Odom. Portland can present a very competitive offer starting a four-year deal starting at $7.7 million that totals roughly $35 million.

    The Blazers also have the means to go higher both in starting salary (if they waive the rights to unsigned draft picks Joel Freeland and/or Petteri Koponen) and in years.

    Of course at this point there’s no indication the Blazers are willing to make a pitch to Odom.

    One NBA Executive told HOOPSWORLD that Odom doesn’t fit into their culture. He’s just not in the same age bracket as their emerging stars Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and possibly Greg Oden.

    Multiple sources say Odom’s people were stalling to see Portland would have money to spend before deciding to renew talks with the Lakers.

    The Miami offer remains in the background to give Lamar some leverage over LA but is still a viable option.

    Ultimately if the Blazers don’t come calling . . . there remains a good possibility Lamar Odom returns to the Lakers.

    From HOOPSWORLD

    0
  123. Lakers need someone who can take it to the hole….with feeling. Odom can do that. He can hit the 3, quite versatile really. Maybe he’s just testing the market. Would love to see him back.

    0
  124. If LO eventually comes back to the Lakers, I’m afraid he’ll play as if he’s underpaid…..meaning he won’t have the passion that he displayed in this year’s playoffs.

    Would he have played Game 5 against Houston with a really sore tailbone if he thinks he’s not making what he’s worth?

    0
  125. chise —Buss’ net worth is estimated at $8 billion by Forbes, not $388 million. In fact the Lakers alone must be worth 500-600 million, so unless he has a lot of debt then $388million is ridiculously low.

    0
  126. #298 —you are taking the literal translation for each word. Let do has absolutely NO MEANING in the English language. The words are literally correct, but the interpretation is not. By “let do” they mean hands off. I was giving you the interpretation and you gave me the literal word translation.

    0
  127. I`ve always had my doubts about LO,although he did play better this year(his contract year). I`m not confident that he`s willing to put in the effort in the off season or during the season at age 30+ (with his ring) to warrant a 4year deal at 8+. Let him go to Miami, try to fill in with a veteran,and hope AB and Pau stay injury free.

    0
  128. http://cbs2.com/sports/lakers.lamar.odom.2.1090930.html

    according to Jim Hill, LO picked up the phone and called dr Buss…

    0
  129. ESPN reported that “The Miami Heat and Lamar Odom have discussed a deal that would approach the $9 million salary the free-agent forward nearly agreed to last week with the Los Angeles Lakers”

    An average annual salary of $7 Million hardly approaches $9 Million. Even without paying the 9.3% CA income tax for half of his games, which would save an additional $325k per season, it still does not approach what was offered by the Lakers.

    I hope the Jim Hill report is correct and that LO has reached out to put the offer back on the table to re-sign.

    I am tired of reading all of the LO haters; he is a versatile player that was a key member of a championship team and I hope he continues to be for many years.

    0
  130. is there any truth to cp3 being traded? is this another financial move for NO? that’s the face of the franchise. not unless he wanted to. if this were true, a lot would be taking a look. but i guess not.

    good thing lamar called mr. buss. i think this is a step forward a resolution soon either a new contract with us or a sign and trade. don’t know bout someone walking and doing this if not for respect.

    0
  131. Good stuff, Darius. I’d never truly understood how trade exceptions were created, but now it makes a lot of sense. Is the value of the exception equal to the amount the team is under the cap?

    0
  132. Looks like the Celtics have settled on their backup wing – Marquis Daniels.

    0
  133. 335. I can’t believe people at places like ESPN and KLAC (JT “the brick”) keep saying Miami offered LO $9 million per year when Miami was never in position to make a big FA acquisition because of the cap.

    My gut feeling is LO signs with Lakers for a whole lot of more money than anyone thought he was going to get.

    BTW if talks get that deep between LO and Miami wouldn’t Dr. Buss call Riley to see what he’s planning?

    I don’t think Riley would do something to hurt Miami just to help Dr. Buss or the Lakers but I think he has enough respect for the organization and the man to be upfront with them.

    0
  134. 332. Kaveh, you are misreading the Forbes Lakers profile. Philip Anschutz, who owns about 30% of the Lakers (and has first right of purchase) is worth nearly $8 billion. In 2005, Buss’ worth was estimated at just shy of $400 million. It is probably higher than that now, although remember: 1) Buss and his family are now in the Lakers business and have almost no other financial interests; 2) Buss does not own all of the Lakers, remember Anschutz (through his AEG) owns a chunk, as does Magic Johnson.

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2006/32/biz_06nba_Los-Angeles-Lakers_320250.html

    0
  135. Kurt-

    As much as I love reliving the championship, the autoplay on the video makes it impossible for me to view the site on my iphone. I’m sure other people are having similar problems. Anyways, I miss being able to check the site while I’m at work which is a sign of how great it is. If there is anyway you can fix it or remove the video, I’d be grateful.

    0
  136. I second the audio/video autoplay removal request. It’s the only thing that I don’t like about this great site.

    I agree with the people who have pointed out that LO’s agent has been stalling while waiting to see if Portland would open up with a bid. I really feel that this was deliberate and hopefully would drive up the price. But Portland (still) doesn’t seem interested.

    0
  137. Everyone,

    How do you think we match up with all the “superpowers” in the NBA now, either with LO or without? The Spurs got Antonio McDyess and Richard Jefferson (Also, the Bucks waived Fabricio Oberto and may also waive/buyout Bruce Bowen and Kurt Thomas, allowing for a possible return to the Spurs.). The Nuggets finally got a backup to Chancey Billups in Ty Lawson, are a year older, but lost Dahntay Jones to free agency. The Magic got Vince Carter, Brandon Bass, kept Marcin Gortat, and lost Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee, and Tony Battie. The Cavaliers got Shaquille O’Neal and Anthony Parker, but lost Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic. The Celtics, our most hated rivals, got what they needed in Rasheed Wallece and will soon get Marquis Daniels (They lost MIkki Moore and most like Stephon Marbury.). The Lakers signed Ron Artest, lost Trevor Ariza to free agency, and may or may not sign Lamar Odom. Some of these teams may not even be done this offseason. What do you guys think?

    0
  138. 340 – Riles looks out for Number One.

    He’ll be upfront with Buss if – only if – he feels it’s in his (Riley’s) interests to do so.

    0
  139. Stuck in alabama July 18, 2009 at 12:04 am

    I was giving the literal translation. I know what it means in regards to economics ..

    Oh and guys the trick on the iPhone is to stop it from fully loading. Hit the x before it’s done, and then once you click on the comments you’re good to let it load all the way. I’m on my iPhone right now.

    0
  140. Audio/Video fix … right click on picture, and change autoplay setting.

    0
  141. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4336149

    “With the Lakers possessing Odom’s Larry Bird rights, Miami can’t match the $9 million annual salary that sources say he and the Lakers agreed to last week before talks collapsed. But the difference between the first three years of a Heat contract — worth nearly $19 million — and the $27 million over three years offered by L.A. might not be as wide as it appears. It’s estimated that the absence of state taxes in Florida would represent close to an extra $1 million per season of take-home pay for Odom.”

    0
  142. odom called dr. buss this thursday.

    twitter.com/ltvonkcal

    what do you guys think? I think that sooner or later odom and the lakers will agree to a contract.

    0
  143. so what now? i say offer him 7-8 for 3-4years or a S&T w/miami. be a little ruthless. but then again when your gf says sorry you don’t hold whatever she did over her head or use it to blackmail her. but this is business.

    0
  144. Looks like Portland is now going after Lee and not LO:
    http://www.nypost.com/seven/07182009/sports/knicks/walsh_lee_ry_of_david_ak_179977.htm

    That probably explains LO’s call to Buss!
    This makes LO’s return to the lakers very likely. 27 million over 3 years should now do it. After 3 years, LO will only be 32 and can most likely still get another contract worth the MLE for 3-4 years. But if he signs an MLE for 5 years now, he will be 34 and will probably have to sign for less than the MLE then.
    I just think that LO’s ego is too big to settle for MLE at this point of his career. He wants to be considered a notch above MLE type of players (ie Ariza, Artest, Gortat,… etc.) and by signing an MLE with the Heat, he will forever downgrade his status/worth. So it would make sense for LO to take a 3 year contract at 9 mil now and sign an MLE in his early 30’s. He knows that If he keeps himself in decent shape, the MLE will still be there barring a major injury.

    0
  145. Kurt,

    You’re right they were talking about the minority owner at $8billion.

    weak sauce,

    Regarding the other teams I think that if LO returns then we are still heavy favorites to repeat. However, without LO, i think the lakers are at best the 3rd or 4th best team in the league. LO makes that much difference. He is worth the 10m per year.

    0
  146. kaveh,
    Lamar may be worth it next year, but what will you say in 2-3 years when we have to give up Pau, Koby, or Andrew?

    This is not a one year thing – this is how the club develops over the next 3-4 years.

    0
  147. What’s next for Odom?
    By Elliott Teaford
    We know two teams are bidding for the services of Lamar Odom, the Lakers and the Miami Heat. What we don’t know, as of this morning, is which team has the best shot at signing Odom. My guess is that he will spend the weekend deciding whether to take the Lakers’ offer of either $30 million over three years or $36 million over four or the Heat’s offer of the full mid-level exception ($34 million or so over five years). There’s no third option as far as I know. Portland isn’t in the picture at present, although the Trail Blazers could jump into the fray after losing out on signing Hedo Turkoglu and Paul Millsap. Dallas apparently isn’t in the mix despite Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s expressed interest in Odom. So, it’s an either or situation for Odom, who must decide between the Lakers and Heat.

    0
  148. oh candyman!! he knows we probably dont win w/o him next yr if he leaves, he also knows we repeats if he stays. sign n trade is perfect. if he wants 2 get paid go 4 it,miami only wants em cuz iverson wont sit & utahs jacking up the price on boozer. im not crazy we dont beat houston or denver w/o LO but he’s been MIA for real at times as well. keep it lo key n ask 24 if he’s willing to restucture his deal. so if we give LO his 8-9 mil. & agree to ship em for some laker pieces heres where i go 1.miami (of course) – we basically gave em a ring w/ the shaq trade we need some love in return they get LO & morrison or we get moon or oneal & haslem or beasley any combo you perfer (no chalmers we dont need more guards) 2.new york – we get lee the most athletic big we can get (darius miles,hmm) & hughes they get LO & luke (wont hurt as bad as it seems). 3.chicago – we get hinrich & ty thomas they get LO & farmar. there is life after LO believe it or not just gotta get younger. REPEAT

    0
  149. Looking at the immediate and near financial future, both of the Lakers and the NBA, I’d be forced to be pessimistic. Looking at this year’s Laker NBA championship, I’d find it difficult not to be optimistic about the immediate future.

    It creates some contradictory expectations in salary negotiations–especially as team salaries rise into the range of luxury tax hell–where busness decisions begin to distort basketball decisions.

    For next year, having Lamar back even at a luxury tax busting level seems reasonable. For each year that follows, the apparent risk rises and the reward goes down.

    Given the realities and proven contract agreements for this year, the value of individual players as free agents has dropped precipitously. Lamar Odom is currently worth no more than the MLE on today’s market for this year–and maybe not even that much. However, to keep him part of the Laker team next year, we might be willing to offer Lamar as much as $10 million for one year–though we would prefer less.

    Now there is year 2, 3, 4, etc. . . . . .

    These are not so clear as the risk goes up and the reward goes down. In the Lakers case, there are structural issues which are not in Lamar’s favor downstream. Under those circumstances, the MLE for five years may be too risky.

    If it were me, I would not offer more than 3 years.

    0
  150. anonymous

    Kobe and Pau will remain lakers for the rest of their lives. Odom, i don’t care what his contract is, cannot possibly affect this reality. Both are currently at max contracts, and raises won’t be much. Not to mention that Buss can and will pay whatever to keep those two.

    One conversation has nothing to do with the other. Also remember that the lakers have a 3-4 year window and that is it. Without Kobe, it will take time to rebuild. Kobe is the top player in the NBA –no team can stay in championship contention when they lose the best player in the league.

    So of importance is the next 3-4 years —that looks great when you have Odom back, whether for 8 or 10 mil per year. Without Odom or a player of his caliber, a championship is not possible in my book. The lakers do have options even with Odom. But with Odom, it’s just so much easier.

    In my opinion i don’t think Odom wants to be in LA. He wants to be a starter and a major player, like he was this year. As we go forward, his role will shrink to strictly a 6th man. I don’t think Odom wants this. He wants to be 2-3 option.

    0
  151. amen regarding Pau staying in LA. The $$$ he is generating in Europe now that he is an NBA champ must make him one of the most valuable players to a franchise in the league. He’s worth max money for a long time.

    0
  152. Who is AMMO?

    0
  153. Ammo = Adam Morrison

    0
  154. Just throwing it out their but I don’t think too many fans want to see Odom leave us. BUT would you want to stick around and be the number six? Exactly the guy has almost got his hands tied!

    Ben from the increase my vertical hub.

    0
  155. The new season is going to be great.

    0