Lamar Odom signed a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers yesterday for up to $33 million, “if the Lakers exercise their option on the fourth season,” according to ESPN.com. (This is within my expectations expressed in an earlier post.)
This isn’t a huge surprise, though Odom had been courted by the Miami Heat and the Portland Trail Blazers. Dwyane Wade, the Heat’s star guard, had been pulling for Odom to return “home,” but expressed happiness for Odom on his Twitter.
For the Lakers, this solidifies their position as the front-runner in the Western Conference. While losing Trevor Ariza was a big hit, signing Ron Artest was a solid move and the re-signing of Odom gives them a dynamic frontcourt.
Odom will likely see his fantasy value remain about where it was last year, when he averaged 11.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.3 blocks in 29:41 per outing, the fewest per-game minutes he’s seen in his career. Artest’s presence will keep Odom’s value muted, though it shouldn’t cause it to drop much, if at all.
He’s no one to scoff at, but keep your expectations for Odom in line with last season. If Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol or Artest go down with an injury, look for Odom to take advantage of the extra playing time.