Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lamar Odom Signs Six-Year $63 Million Contract in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES -- Restricted free agent forward Lamar Odom signed a six-year offer sheet worth about $63 million with the Miami Heat on Monday.

Odom has played his first four NBA seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, who have 15 days to match the offer sheet or lose Odom to the Heat without compensation.

The Heat didn't make an immediate announcement concerning the signing, but the Clippers did, saying they had received a copy of the offer.

"We will evaluate this offer during the 15-day period before announcing our decision," the Clippers said, adding that during the 15-day period they would not issue status reports.

It's believed the Clippers will match the offer sheet and keep Odom, just as they did with Elton Brand and Corey Maggette earlier this summer.

Brand signed a six-year offer sheet worth a reported $82.2 million with the Heat and Maggette signed a six-year offer sheet worth $42 million with Utah.

The Clippers chose to allow Andre Miller to leave after he signed a six-year, $51 million offer sheet with Denver.

At the time Brand, Maggette and Miller signed their offer sheets, Clippers executive vice president Andy Roeser said it was the team's intention to match "any and all offers as we see fit with the goal of maintaining the nucleus of our team."

It's believed the Clippers consider Odom part of their nucleus.

Odom has said repeatedly in recent days that he wanted out of Los Angeles and wants to play for Heat coach Pat Riley.

"For me to reach my full potential, I believe it might be my time to go," Odom said last week. He reportedly turned down a three-year, $24 million offer from the Clippers last month.

Jeff Schwartz, Odom's agent, didn't immediately return phone messages.

The 6-foot-10 Odom averaged 14.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 49 games last season. The fourth overall selection in the 1999 draft, he is averaging 15.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 230 career games.

Brand said he didn't believe the Clippers would match the offer sheet he signed with the Heat.

But they did.

"You're obligated to be there if they do match," Brand said Monday at the U.S. Olympic team's training camp in New York. "So now they matched (Brand), they matched Corey, they got Coach (Mike) Dunleavy, so hopefully we're heading to a brighter future.

"It's going to be a tough road," Brand said of Odom's future should he remain with the Clippers. "Unless there's something you can mutually agree upon with the general manager and the owner, there's nothing that can be done. So it's a tough road."

Brand said he believes things could work out if Odom stays in Los Angeles.

"After a while, I'm sure -- I hope, because I'm there -- this will smooth out," Brand said with a laugh regarding the possibility of Odom staying with the Clippers. "If they don't match him, I wish him my best.

"You don't want to feel like the team you play with doesn't want you and only wants to pay you because someone else wants to pay. You don't want to feel like that, so you might understand why Lamar is going through what he's going through.

"You don't want to have a disgruntled employee. But if they do match him, I know what type of person he is. A lot of money, but he's not going to be a disgruntled player."

Brand said he last spoke with Odom in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago.

Source: ESPN


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