Let the nightmare begin Heat fans. ESPN has reported that Lamar Odom has decided to re-sign with the defending champion Lakers for $33 million over four-years. This signing is somewhat shocking because he gave the Heisman pose to the Heats five year, $35 million offer that would have ended up being more than the Lakers offer. With the Lakers, Odom will earn roughly $8 million a season compared to $7 million offered by the Heat. However, if signed with the Heat, Odom would not have to pay state tax.
That means for the 41 games at home and the away games against the Spurs, Mavericks, and Rockets, no state tax. That is more than half a season of not paying state tax, which made the Heats offer that much more appealing, still no Odom.
After calming down from my tirade over Odom’s decision, I can see the benefits and reasoning behind his signing. Odom never wanted to leave L.A. (he made that very clear). Returning to defend their championship and partnering up with, childhood friend, Ron Artest proved to be the clincher in my opinion. While I’m happy and at peace that a good human being like Lamar Odom doesn’t have to move his family across the United States. Yet, as a Heat insider, I can see the negative ramifications that will linger on for most likely the rest of the summer. After Heat followers get over the initial shock of being considered the front runners for the Lamar sweepstakes, only to hear disappointment, the next question is what now? The answer to that is, I don’t have a clue! Pat Riley surely will not pursue Carlos Boozer at this point.
The Heat retains their $5.9 million mid-level exception (previously offered to Odom) and in their back pocket are their $2 million bi-annual exception and the team’s veterans minimum at $1 million. The rest of the top unrestricted free agents such as Allen Iverson, Jamaal Tinsley, Flip Murray, Stephon Marbury, Rashad McCants, and Juan Dixon are not the type of players that will convince Dwyane Wade that this is a champion contending team. So the best plan seems to be Pat Riley’s initial plan, improve the youngsters and wait till the summer of 2010 to pair Dwyane Wade with another young superstar like Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudemire. The problem with that is, Dwyane and fans will ridicule Pat Riley for his lack of productivity this summer. Compare Riley’s production to Danny Ferry’s in Cleveland and the dagger could be that Wade opts out after next season due to having a difficult 2009-2010 season (which is highly likely).
As always, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Written by CHRIS HAYNES