UPDATE: ESPN 710 reported he declined a 5yr/40 mil deal to go to Portland; Give Odom props!
Welcome back the candy man! Can we think DYNASTY!?
ESPN: Free agent forward Lamar Odom will return to the Los Angeles Lakers, an NBA source said Thursday.
Odom will sign a four-year contract, with the fourth year at the team option, the source said. One source with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com the four-year deal is worth $33 million if the Lakers exercise the final year of the contract.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak declined comment and Odom’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, did not immediately return a voice mail.
Odom’s signing was the most significant free agent move left to play out this summer, as it restores a pivotal piece to the Lakers’ championship team. The versatile, 6-foot-9 Odom averaged 11.3 points and 8.2 rebounds during the regular season and 12.3 points and 9.1 rebounds during the playoffs, despite injuring his back in a fall during the Western Conference semifinals against Houston.
Odom’s destination for the 2009-10 season had remained in doubt after the Lakers pulled an initial offer of a reported $27 million guaranteed over three years off the table. As the other franchises with significant salary cap space spent their money elsewhere, the Miami Heat emerged as a serious contender for Odom’s services. On Tuesday, the Portland Trail Blazers also got into the mix, offering a five-year, $40 million deal, according to a source close to Odom.