Hoopsworld: Lamar Odom’s Salary Part II: I went to the expert to get a more complete breakdown on Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom’s salary. Cap guru Larry Coon was happy to oblige:
Odom signed a contract in the summer of 2003 with the Miami HEAT at a base salary of $58.5 million. In the original deal was a signing bonus of $5,781,576. According to the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, signing bonuses are amortized over the life of the contract. In this case, Odom’s signing bonus counts on the cap an extra $963,596 – each and every year of his deal.
(One technical note – bonuses are not amortized over option years – player, team or ETO. In Lamar’s case this is immaterial).
Odom also benefited from a $7.425 million trade bonus when he was traded to the Lakers in 2004. That too is spread out over each year of his deal (except 2003/4 which was before the trade) – even though the money was paid up front. His trade bonus adds an additional $1.485 million to the cap each year.
To break it all down, Odom received $9 million base salary from Miami plus the entire $5,781,576 signing bonus for a total of $14,781,576 in his first and only year with the HEAT (2003/4). This manipulation from Miami was to discourage the Los Angeles Clippers from matching their offer sheet (Odom was a restricted free agent). The actual cap number for the HEAT that season was just $9,963,596.