NBA Roundtable

Lakers Re-Up Odom

In Free Agency on July 30, 2009 at 8:17 pm

ESPN reports

Free agent forward Lamar Odom will return to the Los Angeles Lakers, an NBA source said Thursday.

“I always wanted to come back because we won the championship,” Odom told ESPN.com. “I’m playing for the biggest brand in the world. And I’m playing with the most fluid, talented center in the world in Pao Gasol, Andrew Bynum’s coming back and of course Kobe Bryant.

“But to now get an opportunity to play with Ron Artest, a guy I’ve known 16 years, it means a lot. I told Ron Ron a few weeks ago I couldn’t walk away. I still had to fight. Everytime negotiations didn’t go the way I thought, I just took a step back, like them pulling the offer off the table, I just knew I had to fight.”

One source with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com the four-year deal is worth $33 million if the Lakers exercise the final season.

The structure of the contract

The source said Odom will come away with a guaranteed $27 million from the new contract, matching the original value of the three-year, $27 million deal Lakers owner Jerry Buss pulled off the table earlier this month.

It’s believed that the structure of the new deal calls for Odom to earn $25 million over the first three seasons, with the Lakers owing him $2 million in the fourth year if they elect not to pick up their team option.

Thoughts

Hardly a surprise, it was always expected that Lamar Odom would return to the Lakers.

I think Odom got underpaid here, and I think he made a poor choice going for a four year deal. I think he would have been better off signing a one year contract and re-entering free agency next offseason, when more teams have free agent money and more teams with money will be looking for veterans instead of younger players. I thought Odom would have a very goodchance of getting a better contract then.

The Lakers got a great deal here, and has now got it’s core in place for several more runs at titles.

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