Bring Lamar Odom Back to Miami

Categories: Sports
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Reports this morning say L.A. Lakers owner Jerry Buss has withdrawn his offer to NBA forward Lamar Odom after Odom's agent didn't contact Buss with an answer. The offer was for four years/$36 million or three years/$30 million. Apparently, Odom is holding out for a five-year/$50 million deal.

Teams in the running include the Portland Trail Blazers (GM Kevin Pritchard seems to be interested in everyone, regardless of what position his team actually needs -- hint, hint SF); the Dallas Mavericks (Mark Cuban loves old guys); and your Miami Heat. But why should Pat Riley spend $50 million on a soon-to-be 30-year-old forward who eats gummy bears before games, disappears at times, and has a career average of only 15 points and eight boards?

Well...
(1) because the most Riles can offer him is five years/$36 million, or slightly more than the mid-level exception. And Lamar Odom is worth $7 million a year and then some. Pritchard is the only guy who can give Odom the money he wants, but where does he fit in a front court that already includes LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden? In Portland, he goes back to being the sixth man, a role he now says he didn't mind, but we all know that's just free agent talk. Odom would be the number two scorer in Miami, a place he loved and excelled playing in. Name another top-five talent player you can get for $7 mil (oh, and one who proves he can show up in the playoffs big-time).

(2) because he's the best free agent available this year and Dwyane Wade is very, very lonely. Would you rather have Carlos Boozer, who, granted, is two years younger but has had a serious injury three of his first seven seasons in the league? A Boozer who, yes, can out-score and out-board Odom but is a much worse defender and doesn't have the length to guard Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Al Horford, or Dwight Howard (four guys the Heat will have to find a way to guard to get out of the second round)?

(3) because you could potentially have both Odom and Boozer (click on the link and read the last paragraph of the column) if you're willing to part with Beasley. I'm not. I think the ceiling on Beaz is too high at this point. But I wouldn't begrudge Riley if he made that move in an effort to win now.

More ideas after the jump.
 
Idea #1: Trade Haslem's expiring contract for David Lee. He is Haslem 3.0, and my fantasy b-ball crush on David has reached Steven Ross-Jimmy Buffett levels. (Yes, David, I would name my stadium after you for nothing in return.)

Idea #2: Trade Mark Blount's expiring contract and Michael Beasley to the Atlanta Hawks for Marvin Williams. Get a true small forward who's still only 23 and has improved every year in the league.

FYI: I have no idea whether the salaries match up on these fictional deals -- a rule sports bloggers tend to forget about when they propose trades -- but I'm not a sports blogger. As far as I'm concerned, Pat Riley should trade Haslem for Rae Armontrout. Miami could use another veteran poet.

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