Monday, July 13, 2009

Odom will be forced to take way less than he had hoped for going into the free agent market to stay with LA

By Anthony Caruso III

Lamar Odom had hoped he would hit it big in free agency. Now, the only way he will hit it big is through a sign-and-trade. The Oklahoma City Thunder is the only team with significant cap space, but are not willing to pay a veteran a large amount of money, especially with their young stars entering free agency in the coming years.

Without a sign-and-trade, which the Lakers are not willing to do to my knowledge, Odom will have to take less cash than he thought he would be getting when he first entered the market. The Lakers have less money to give Odom after signing Ron Artest to a 5-year, $33 million dollar deal last week. Odom can now only get around $7 million per season if he re-signs with the Lakers after thinking he would get $11 million or more.

Odom is one of the young Lakers big-men that they have under 30 years old. Odom is the oldest of the three, as he will be 30-years-old on November 6th. Pau Gasol just turned 29 on July 6th, while Andrew Bynum will turn 22 on October 22nd. But Gasol is signed through the summer of 2011, while Bynum has a team option for the 2012-13 season.

Odom was acquired from the Miami HEAT in 2004 with Caron Butler and Brian Grant for future Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O'Neal. After the trade, Odom, at times, had a hard time fitting into Phil Jackson's famous triangle offense, but he's adjusted to it better in recent years. He recently won his first NBA Championship when the Lakers won their 15th NBA Championship in June. If he re-signs with the Lakers, he could win many more.

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