Tag: lamar odom
[Read the full, original post at Dimemag.com]
Devin Harris, Antawn Jamison, Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, Rashard Lewis and anyone else who is going to return from an injury or suspension in the near future are buy-low candidates.
Danilo Gallinari: should be OK again soon, take him from frustrated owners
John Salmons: making his way back
Derrick Rose: making progress with bum ankle
Brook Lopez: disappointing so far, should bounce back against easy opponents this month
Kevin Durant: low FT% will rise
O.J. Mayo and Mike Conley: a bit of a stretch, but murmurs of Allen Iverson trade already bubbling (continue reading…)
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.
- “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” – Sun Tzu
Of all my friends, Eugene Chang is my most formidable fantasy basketball foe. He’s a smart guy who’s incredibly deliberate, intense and passionate about whatever he wants to succeed in, which translates into a rabid interest in fantasy basketball.
So, I decided to chat with him about his thoughts about all the off-season activity and his expectations and fantasy strategy for the upcoming NBA season. He touches upon Yao Ming’s injury, Lamar Odom, Anthony Randolph, Andre Miller, his sleepers and offers some tips based on his personal experiences competing in fantasy leagues.
Eugene works for a company based in the Chicago area, but is currently on assignment in Vietnam, which explains the less-than-pristine call quality.
Hopefully, you can take some things away from the audio clip below. Feel free to respond in the comments section.
Sports Illustrated has a list of this offseason’s crop of NBA free agents, last updated on Wednesday afternoon. While some minor signings have occurred since then (Theo Ratliff with the San Antonio Spurs, for example), there are still some productive players out there for the taking.
Here is a quick list of the top 10 free agents who are still unsigned as of early Friday morning, in approximate order of fantasy value:
- Lamar Odom: He’s still versatile and capable of putting up great all-around numbers on a nightly basis if given sufficient playing time. If he ends up back with the Los Angeles Lakers, Odom’s stats will be a bit muted, though still desirable. However, if he ends up on the Miami Heat or the Portland Trail Blazers, expect a more solid fantasy season for Odom.
- Andre Miller: The reliable point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers for the past three seasons is having some trouble finding a new crew to run. Miller’s entering this season at the ripe old age of 33, but he has shown no signs of slowing down, playing in all 82 games during the past two seasons. It seems that he’s most likely to end up with either the Trail Blazers or the New York Knicks, two teams that have been searching for an upgrade at point guard all summer. Miller should see value similar to last season if he ends up on either team.
Allen Iverson: Oh, you forgot about him? Iverson, once one of the most impressive, respected and productive point guards in the NBA, is now struggling to find an NBA team who is willing to cough up more than a mid-level exception for the former MVP. The buzz is that the Los Angeles Clippers are pursuing Iverson’s services, along with the Memphis Grizzlies. Obviously, he probably isn’t jumping for joy at the prospect of playing for either team, but with the lack of offers on the table, he might just have to swallow his pride and sign on if he wants to remain in the NBA. Iverson will have more fantasy value on the Grizzlies. He’ll have too much competition for playing time with Baron Davis and Eric Gordon locked in for major minutes on the Clippers.
- David Lee: The restricted free agent had a career year for the Knicks last season, averaging 16.0 points and 11.7 rebounds, while shooting 54.9 percent from the field. True, he doesn’t get many steals or blocks, but he’s as close to a surefire double-double as you’ll get from a guy not named Dwight Howard. He’s understandably frustrated by the apparent lack of appreciation from the Knicks, but it seems that Lee’s agent is asking for $12 million per year, a bit high even for a player of Lee’s caliber. Wherever he ends up, expect him to continue his dominance on the boards.
- Ramon Sessions: The restricted free agent made a name for himself in the fantasy world during the final 10 games of the 2007-08 season. In his last two games for the Milwaukee Bucks he totaled 45 points and 38 assists, though he played the full 53:00 in the final overtime game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Sessions followed up with a strong showing last season, averaging 12.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.7 assists in just 27:30 per game. Keep an eye on where he ends up. If given 30+ minutes a night, Sessions will put up solid numbers for your team.
- Raymond Felton: The restricted free agent on the Charlotte Bobcats has struggled to reach any kind of agreement with his current team. The point guard played well for the Bobcats last season, though he took a slight step back from his 2007-08 campaign. He’s frustratingly inconsistent at times, but his averages are nothing to scoff at. Expect him to reluctantly re-sign with the Bobcats, unless the Trail Blazers can come through with a big offer that will turn off the Bobcats from matching.
- Marvin Williams: Another restricted free agent, Williams has shown consistent production during the past three seasons on the Atlanta Hawks. His health is a minor concern, but so long as his health is there, he remains a promising young forward who is always good for some points, rebounds and solid shooting percentages. There hasn’t been much said about Williams’ situation, so expect him to continue his solid production on the Hawks next season unless we hear otherwise.
- Nate Robinson: A restricted free agent on the Knicks along with Lee, Robinson also had a career year last season in New York, though he sputtered out at the end. True, he was helped by the stats-friendly system headed by coach Mike D’Antoni, and the absence of Stephon Marbury cleared up major minutes for him, but Robinson showed flashes of real solid play last year. Like Lee, Robinson will likely end up back in a Knicks uniform. If he does, expect good production. However, if the Knicks land a solid point guard, like Miller, expect Robinson’s stats to take a hit, thus reducing his value.
- Flip Murray: The Hawks shooting guard did an admirable job backing up Joe Johnson last season. The backcourt in Atlanta looks a bit more crowded with the arrival of Jamal Crawford, so look for Murray to take his knack for scoring in bunches elsewhere. Wherever he ends up, so long as he gets 20+ minutes per game, Murray will always provide your team with double-digit points, along with a couple rebounds and assists, a three-pointer and a steal. Not shabby.
- Linas Kleiza: The capable forward has always produced in limited playing time on the Denver Nuggets and has put up big numbers when playing as a starter. He’s getting interest from Olympiakos, the team that has retained Josh Childress for another season. The Nuggets will have difficulty matching any substantial offer for Kleiza, so expect him to take his shooting specialties elsewhere.
Kobe Bryant thinks there’s a good chance that Lamar Odom will re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, after talks have soured between Odom and team owner Jerry Buss there have been a number of rumors about the versatile forward heading to multiple destinations not named Los Angeles, including New Jersey and Miami.
The New Jersey rumors are unlikely to bear any fruit, but the Miami Heat appear to have the best chance of stealing Odom away from the defending champions. Why? Because Odom played there in the 2003-04 season and his house is still located in Miami.
Dwyane Wade even told the Associated Press that he wants Odom “to come home.”
Nevertheless, there are big reasons why heading to even Miami is unlikely for Odom.
As Craver notes on Fantasy Basket Blog:
First, Odom would be taking a pay cut of roughly $9 million. The Heat can only offer him a little above the mid-level exception which would be just below $6 million a year. Where as he already had an offer from the Los Angeles Lakers at $9 million a year for three years that he sat on for too long before the Lakers decided to pull the offer off of the table.
Second, Dwayne Wade may be on his way out the door himself for free agency after next season. He has said that he would sign an extension if the Heat committed to rebuilding toward a Championship, but he would leave if they weren’t able to convince him that they were truly making the effort. Is signing Odom enough for Wade or would he need the Heat to do more? Does Odom want to risk being locked into a contract and be stuck on a team without a bonafide star should Wade choose to leave?
Two very valid points.
Still, Odom’s reputation precedes him in situations like this. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see him squander a perfectly wonderful opportunity to make a feasible trip back to the Finals with his newly revamped defending-champion Lakers team, especially now that Ron Artest is likely to cut into his minutes.
Craver’s prediction? “My money is on the Lakers resigning Odom to a contract around 4-5 years for $35-40 million.”
I’d be a bit more conservative and expect a 3-4 year deal for about $27-35 million with the Lakers as the most likely outcome, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Odom spurn the Lakers for another team, like the Heat or even the Portland Trail Blazers.
Now we’ll see where Odom’s heart is at: with the chance at another ring, or with more money and/or playing time.
If Odom stays with the Lakers, his fantasy value will take a hit. If he heads east to join the Heat or heads north to join the Trail Blazers, his value will see a boost.
Here’s to Odom not making an oh-so-dumb decision.
Update: Now Derek Fisher is getting into the act: a post titled “Trying to Bring Lamar Odom Back” is now up on his Web site. Odom must feel really important these days.