Whilst it was immensely disappointing to read of the devolution of the talks between the Lakers and Lamar Odom, I can’t help but feel that the blame here may rest with Odom’s agent Jeff Schwartz.
Apparently, LA & Odom/Schwartz reached a number that they liked, but there was a difference of opinion on how many years the contract should be… Odom of course seeking a longer deal.
That deal differs depending on which site you read. ESPN has the deal at $27 million over 3 years, whilst Yahoo has LA offering Odom 2 deals to choose from – at three-years/$30 million or a four-years/$36 million. There’s a certain source stating that LO wants at least what Marion got from Dallas – a five years, $38.6 million deal. I’m not sure I buy that, depending if you believe either the ESPN or Yahoo reports. I’m leaning towards Yahoo… but if it’s the three-years/$27 million that ESPN’s reporting: for god’s sake LA – get the deal done. It’s actually CHEAPER. Which is one of the reasons why I’m leaning towards it being as Yahoo reported.
LA have pulled that/both (whichever you believe) deal(s) off the table, as apparently Jerry Buss is unimpressed that Schwartz hasn’t responded to the offer in any way, shape or form. Surely that’s just bad management on Schwartz’s part. The offers are relatively fair and reasonable, if a little short of what LO might be looking for.
That’s simply stupidity. Get over your pride, and worry about what’s best for your client. The LA Times reported:
“Many in the Lakers’ organization believe that Odom wants to accept Buss’ offer – and so do those close to Odom – but he has failed to convince Jeff Schwartz, his agent.”
We’ve seen this before. David Lee – Trevor Ariza’s agent – put the squeeze on LA… or at least attempted to, and now Ariza’s out of town, playing for a lottery-bound team away from family, friends, a championship contender, and the city he grew up in.
I don’t think there’s too much worry in the “pulled the offer” situation. Should Schwartz call the Lakers and say “Look, we’ll take it!”, you can believe that the offer’ll be back in play.
As discussed at Forum Blue & Gold, LA & LO still need each other. I certainly hope the first scenario they paint there is accurate – that they work out the kinks, and a deal gets done. That is my gut feeling, I’ll stick with that for now.