Lamar Odom’s re-signing presser took place earlier this afternoon in El Segundo, here are some highlights for you guys.
Later this afternoon, Lamar joined our partners at AM570 for an interview with Matt Money. Rather interesting conversation…
Special thanks to David Vassegh for the Lamar Odom coverage.
On behalf of Lakers fans everywhere, it’s good to have Lamar Odom back. Let the drive for five begin!
Inside the Lakers: The Lakers have decided not to pick up their option on guard Sun Yue, according to his agent Charles Bonsignore.
The team was intrigued by the 6-foot-9 point guard from China, but due to its already-stiff luxury tax burden, and the depth on the team’s roster, both sides agreed it would be in their best interest to let Sun go and pursue other opportunities in the NBA.
“We really appreciated the opportunity the Lakers gave Sun and the way they approached the entire situation,” Bonginore said. “They were all class. But because of the depth on their roster, we both knew that even if he made the team there wouldn’t be a lot of opportunity to play. And the Lakers didn’t want to hold him back.”
Sun appeared in just 10 games for the Lakers as a rookie, but the coaching staff was said to be intrigued with his potential. On a team that won the NBA championship, with three other point guards on the roster, there wasn’t a lot of playing time to go around.
How will this guy who torched us in game two NBA Finals look like in a Laker uniform? Sound-off!
NBA.com: The Cavaliers are Leon Powe’s first choice for a new team, according to a source, with the Orlando Magic second. Dallas and the L.A. Lakers have also made inquiries about Powe, who suffered a third serious knee injury in Game 2 of Boston’s first-round series against Chicago.
Powe underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee a week later. The most optimistic scenario is a recovery time of six to eight months, with a February return the hoped-for date. But it’s not a certainty that Powe will sign with any of those teams.
The Lakers will be holding a live press conference today in their El Segundo training facility to announce the re-signing of Lamar Odom.
You’ll be able to view the press conference live on Lakers.com at 2:00PM PST.
I love Odom and this is why…
L.A. Times: Odom said he didn’t want to leave Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Fisher and the rest of the Lakers, especially Bryant.
“Riding off Kobe’s coattail ain’t bad,” Odom said, laughing. “He’s got something special going around. I’ve got to be around. I’ve got to be one of the apostles. There was no way I was going to pass up playing with Kobe, Pau, Andrew and Ron-Ron.”
Title: Candyman Is Back!
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Lamar Odom speaks about his return.
ESPN: “I always wanted to come back because we won the championship,” Odom told ESPN.com. “I’m playing for the biggest brand in the world. And I’m playing with the most fluid, talented center in the world in Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum’s coming back and of course Kobe Bryant.
“But to now get an opportunity to play with Ron Artest, a guy I’ve known 16 years, it means a lot. I told Ron Ron a few weeks ago I couldn’t walk away. I still had to fight. Everytime negotiations didn’t go the way I thought, I just took a step back, like them pulling the offer off the table, I just knew I had to fight.”
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.
John Hollinger of ESPN just posted this on his Twitter…
Twitter: A league source just told me Odom is going back to the Lakers.
Big Bynum getting some love.
NBA.com: The Insurance Big Man
My Candidates: Greg Oden and Andrew Bynum
This one is tough given that oft-injured Bynum may never develop into the type of big man many of us suspect he can be and Oden is foul-machine, which doesn’t mesh with the whistle-happy FIBA refs. But the Insurance Big Man will play a bit role in 2010, given that Howard, Bosh, Melo, ‘Bron and Durant will gobble up most of the minutes at the 4 and 5.
I’m using this roster spot for development.
If Oden and Bynum get a summer of teaching and experience in Turkey, then think about how strong the Team USA big man corps will be for the London Olympics in 2012.
I’m in the camp that thinks Bynum, more than any other young center (including Howard) has the best chance to be a “dump-it-down” center — as in, “dump it down to the big man and let him and wheel and deal.” Those weeks prior to his 2008 and 2009 injuries were like future dump-it-down highlight reels. Turnarounds, jump hooks, drop steps — he’s even developing a semi-reliable 12-footer. Unfortunately, Bynum has yet to participate in a Team USA minicamp and Colangelo and Coach K have placed a premium on the FIBA familiarity they try to foster at the camps.
For me though, I like covering bases. Oden has a similar skill set to Dwight — active defenders and rebounders, weak O-games (which is why Kendrick Perkins, Emeka Okafor and a healthy Tyson Chandler don’t make sense here, either). A Howard-Bynum tandem means that you could play offense-defense with your center combo. I like that … I like that a lot.
My Pick: Bynum
Ric Bucher of ESPN reports that Lamar will make his decision within 48 hours. What do you guys think? Additionally, here is his latest tweet.
Twitter: Relief! LO will make his decision in next 48 hours, source says. Wants to stay in LA, Lakers making it hard.
FIBA: On Thursday Spain introduced the 2009 edition of their national team to the public, and began by honoring two of Europe’s brightest stars. FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin was on hand to present Pau Gasol and Ricky Rubio with the 2009 FIBA Europe Player of the Year and Young Men’s Player of the Year Awards respectively.
“Pau and Ricky are two of the most exciting players in the world, and it will be a pleasure to see both of them on the floor together in Poland at EuroBasket 2009,” commented Zanolin.
“They represent the best of European basketball both on and off the court.”
“I’m honoured to receive this distinction in a year that has been really special for me,” said Gasol who won his first NBA title in June with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I’m proud to be at the top of a list with so many great players.”
I can’t wait to read this on one of the most unique basketball minds of all time.
CDM: Jerry West had 1,501 points at East Bank High, 2,641 at West Virginia University (including with the freshman team) and 25,192 in 14 seasons (14th in league history) with the Los Angeles Lakers.
However, even though West is age 71, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see one of basketball’s greatest players score really big in 2010.
That’s when much more than his silhouette – seen in the NBA logo designed from a West action photo by New York graphic artist Alan Siegel in 1969 – will be revealed.
Next summer, the Chelyan native’s autobiography will hit the shelves. And although The Greenbrier recently announced plans to have a steakhouse dedicated to him (and filled with West memorabilia), it wasn’t connected to the book project. Timing – as they say – is everything.