Odom Stays in LA

It wasn't a real surprise, given how much Lamar Odom had always declared his desire to stay with the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. But multiple outlets are reporting that Odom elected to stay in Los Angeles after a brief, but not-so-serious flirtation with returning to the Miami Heat.

Odom is signing a four-year deal worth a reported $33 million, which is $1 million less than what the Heat was able to offer over five years, so it wasn't a bad deal. It's a fantastic deal for the Lakers, who got a versatile, 29-year-old at a bargain price and were able to sign Odom's former AAU teammate, Ron Artest, earlier this summer. The Lakers are now the definite favorite to win the 2010 championship, even with the moves made by Cleveland, Boston, Orlando and San Antonio. Losing Odom would've been devastating for the Lakers for reasons that extend beyond his obvious basketball skills. He also might be able to help Artest from going off the deep end.

This move is good news for the Wizards because it keeps Odom out of the Eastern Conference. It will also surely upset Heat guard Dwyane Wade, who has been openly tweeting about bringing Odom back to Miami, where the two played one season (along with Caron Butler) in 2003-04. I mistakenly omitted the 2008-09 Heat from my list of teams to make a dramatic turnaround, after it improved by 28 games, going from 15 to 43 last season. Looking at Miami's current roster, it appears that it has taken a step back. The Heat lost Jamario Moon to free agency and took Robert Dozier with the 60th pick in the NBA.

With Wade, the Heat should still be decent, but this has not been a good summer for Miami -- especially with Wade entering free agency next summer.

By Michael Lee |  July 30, 2009; 7:20 PM ET
Previous: Southeast Gets Tougher if Odom Joins Heat | Next: Oberto, Stevenson Update

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first.

*takes a bow*

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 30, 2009 8:04 PM

I’m only giving Mitch Kupchak a “B” or “B-“ grade for finally closing a deal with Lamar Odom. The grade would be "A+" had Mitch arranged a sign-and-trade with Houston once it was clear Artest and Aziza were changing teams. A sign-and-trade with Houston would have preserved both Teams’ mid-level exception to go after other premier players who later signed contracts with other teams (e.g., R Wallace). And Aziza should get a new agent if his agent persuaded him to refuse the Lakers offer to him or did not push for a sign-and-trade deal. In fact, Artest and Aziza might have both gotten more money through a sign-and-trade deal had cooler heads prevailed.

Posted by: ljpipes | July 30, 2009 11:02 PM

Who cares... I'm absolutely sick of hearing about Odom. He's great 1 out of 4 games.

Thank God he signed and we don't have to hear about him anymore!

Posted by: MeviousMan | July 31, 2009 12:53 AM

There are only Five things that need to be blogged about here:

Status of Arenas' ability to cut and drive.

Have the Wizars hired a good big man coach (Oakley)

Is Blatche still working out with Oakley seriously?

Is McGee putting on some weight and getting good tutelage from the big man coach?

How are Caron/DeShawn/Jamison/etc feeling?

OK - go ahead and keep us up to date on the trades and signings, but I really want your connections to the wizards.

Posted by: Blurred | July 31, 2009 7:17 AM

Foxtrot Indigo Foxtrot Tango Yankee.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 31, 2009 8:33 AM

Arrgh' that would be Hotel instead of Yankee.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 31, 2009 8:36 AM

Larry, just to clarify, would that be 5th in the league, conference or division?

Just to clarify

Posted by: mabkhar | July 31, 2009 8:39 AM

The Heat were momentarily diverted by visions of Odom in their front court, from their primary focus, free agency 2010 and trying to open cap space, a goal towards which they have been working assiduously.

The problem of the shrinking economy and subsequent lower salary and luxury cap may have created doubts about how much space they would have once the league gets done adjusting levels. If the cap space they thought they had suddenly evaporated they may have been inspired to take a shot with Odom.

With no state income tax in Florida the Heat offer may have been roughly equivalent for Odom but he apparently is more interested in another ring; LA not Miami is where that has the greater chance of happening.

Posted by: midlevex | July 31, 2009 8:56 AM

I was wondering why Houston/LA didn't do a sign and trade swap too. That move didn't seem real bright because it probably cost all parties involved some cash.

Riley will be beating the bushes to make another move, like Cleveland w/ LeBron he's got to show D Wade he's serious about surrounding him with talent.

Blurred, I missed the fact that Blatche was working w/ Oaktree. If he spends much time with him I can see it toughening him up somewhat. Since Oakley spent much of his career playing w/ a 6" vertical leap he'd be a great guy to work w/ McGee on footwork and positioning.

At summer league and on the clips I saw from USA basketball, McGee has definetly been working in the weight room. He's getting quite a set of guns, still looks lean but stronger.

Gil's being very closed lipped during this recovery, but different bits and pcs. are slipping out from various players that have scrimaged with him. Sounds like we are likely to see a bigger stronger version of Gil.

Apparently Butler's been arranging p/u games at the Phone Booth, word is when Gil's in town they go head to head a lot. But I think he went back to Chicago for another session with Grover.

Jamison is always ready, most years he stops playing for awhile, goes home and starts working on the yoga. His strength and stretching regimine is supposed to be similar to what the Suns had Shaq go to.

Likely not a lot of real Wizards news to report for awhile. GM

Posted by: flohrtv | July 31, 2009 9:07 AM

What rock did Oakley crawl from?

And when has it ever been reported that he was working out with Blatche?

And excuse me, but Oakley does not fit my job description of a big man coach.

LarryInClintonMD

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 31, 2009 9:32 AM

Larry, just to clarify, would that be 5th in the league, conference or division?

Just to clarify

Posted by: mabkhar | July 31, 2009 8:39 AM

You tempt me. Lets go with 5th in the League, 3rd in the conference, and 2nd in the division.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 31, 2009 10:11 AM

Good point about Oakley GM, but I think Oakley brings more than just a Big Man approach.

Oakley to me is like Dantley. Even though Dantley is smaller, they both were masters a playing inside, but they are not really big men.

Too me, in order to be in that Big Men fraternity, you have to be a true 7 footer are be cut from the mole of an Wes Unseld or Willis Reed, or Nate Thurmond.

LarryInClintonMD.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 31, 2009 10:30 AM

Uh, Wes Unseld? Proves the opposite point --- he was maybe 6'7", played like a 7-footer. Big horizontally, not up and down.

Posted by: joe2chase | July 31, 2009 10:42 AM

"Uh, Wes Unseld? Proves the opposite point --- he was maybe 6'7", played like a 7-footer. Big horizontally, not up and down.Posted by: joe2chase"

Closer to 6'5", actually. An amazing player.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 31, 2009 10:49 AM

Was it Blatche or the Wizards' idea for him to work with Oakley? Regardless, we can only hope he toughens him up and teaches him some of the fundamentals of boxing out under the boards to get rebounds. Oakley was one of the toughest and smartest PF's of his day so I would think he would fit the general description of a big man coach. We don't have the luxury of hiring a Kareem to mentor McGee like the Lakers are with Bynum. Unless Patrick Ewing is available to come here as an assistant coach (think he's under contract with Orlando), Oakley is a pretty good option.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 31, 2009 11:04 AM

Well, I guess thats good that Odom didn't go to Miami, if you're a zards fan .. But I think there's a good argument for wanting the zards to be in the toughest conference, as in maybe it will prepare them for the playoffs. If the zards can play up to their potential this year they should have the swagger to match up with anybody, Lakers included.

Posted by: boblas | July 31, 2009 11:11 AM

Are we in LA?

This is the worst INSIDER blog I've ever read.

I don't care about the lakers. I care about Gilbert knees or is he just chillin in his mclean grotto all summer afraid to put any weight on it.

Posted by: jdgreger@yahoo.com | July 31, 2009 11:28 AM

Not sure if anyone's seen Hoops World's rankings for the East, but they've got the Wiz at 10th - behind Indiana and Toronto and outside the playoffs.

Mike, you've gotta go drop some knowledge on that site.

Posted by: EYoung77 | July 31, 2009 11:37 AM

I don't care about the lakers. I care about Gilbert knees or is he just chillin in his mclean grotto all summer afraid to put any weight on it.

Gilbert ain't talkin...(for once) and it was already reported HERE. That he went to Chicago, came back and returned to Chicago to work with Tim Grover. Relax.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 31, 2009 12:13 PM

Just to clarify, I didn't mean to say Blatche WAS workign with Oakley; just that bit would be news I'd like to hear.

Posted by: Blurred | July 31, 2009 12:35 PM

Uh, Wes Unseld? Proves the opposite point --- he was maybe 6'7", played like a 7-footer. Big horizontally, not up and down.

Posted by: joe2chase | July 31, 2009 10:42 AM

Uh, Well no, Dosen't prove the opposite point--- point is...Unseld is in the Big Man Fraternity, like some others who were not 7'.

But Oakley, though he was a good inside player does not belong in the Big Man Frat Club.

If memory serves me correctly, even Russell was not 7', but he is certainly in the Big Man's Frat Club.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 31, 2009 1:17 PM

To me 7' is kind of sacred. And yeah it does not mean that you can play a lick.

But if you are 7' and you can play a lick, then you are in the Big Man Frat Club, if even by default.

If you are not 7', you have to be special in order to be in the Big Man Frat Club.

Oakley though a good inside player does not belong in the Club.

Unseld and others who were not 7' played a big mans game so well that they deserved to considered as members of the Big Man Frat Club.

Dennis Rodman whom the League screwed over was a fierce defender and rebounder, but even he does not get the honor of the Big Mans Frat Club.

To help coach our forwards and centers, we should not use the term Big Man coach, if we are not truly looking to get one.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 31, 2009 1:35 PM

I see what you're saying...but since your logic eliminates Charles Barkley (one of my all-time favorites)I can't back you up.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 31, 2009 2:19 PM

7 footer is probably the most meaningless yet still prized distinction in sports. The vast majority of 7 footers to pass through the NBA in the past 20 years have ranged from mediocre role players to underwhelming stiffs to outright busts. The percentage of actual difference makers have been a small fraction of the total number of towering space fillers to pass through the NBA's front gates. Whatever size he was, Oakley was better, more impactful, and easily tougher than the majority of 7 footers who played during his career.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 31, 2009 2:45 PM

To those of you who want Michael to post only on Wizards issues, let me just point out that the sub-heading for this blog is "The Latest NBA News . . ." Some of us like to hear, and talk about, what's going on around the league.

Posted by: rbpalmer | July 31, 2009 4:50 PM

"I also think it is pretty funny that LA is lowering their offer. They realize that it is now only a two team battle for LO's services and Miami can only offer the MLE. I bet it is only a scare tactic, so that if they raise their offer back up Odom makes his choice right away."

Posted by: SportzWiz | July 28, 2009 5:04 PM


I just want to take a moment to pat myself on the back. Odom did exactly what I thought he would do. The Lakers knew he did not want to go to Miami for less.

Posted by: SportzWiz | July 31, 2009 6:06 PM

A quick explanation for those of you who wonder why LA and Houston did not do a sign and trade.

A sign and trade deal requires informing the players involved so that they sign a deal w/their current team prior to being traded to the team that they want to go to. But, the only reason that Ariza/Artest signed MLE deals is that it was all Houston or LA could offer.

If a sign and trade deal had been discussed, both players would have asked for more money.

Posted by: SportzWiz | July 31, 2009 6:12 PM

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