In what has turned out to be an unexpectedly exciting NBA offseason thus far, the Los Angeles Lakers have managed to sign a three-year, $18 million deal with the bada** Ron Artest, leaving behind two main pieces to their defending championship title roster.
During the initial start of the NBA offseason, news arose regarding whether or not Los Angeles would re-sign Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza, or both.
But with the shocking Artest signing, Trevor Ariza giving the Houston Rockets a "verbal agreement," and Lamar Odom and L.A. supposedly "far apart on negotiations" (RealGM), it seems more and more likely that the Lakers will end up not re-signing either player that they planned to this offseason.
Is Lamar Odom officially done with the Los Angeles Lakers, or will they somehow re-sign him before he gets a higher offer from another organization?
At first, it was said that Odom would receive his asking price of $10 million per season, while Ariza would take a cut in pay just to remain on the Lakers roster.
Since Artest has now taken away Ariza's entire salary and then some, will the Lakers have enough money to throw at Odom in order to keep him on the team?
With the Portland Trail Blazers apparently in contact and looking to sign Odom, L.A. must react fast before it is too late.
These questions must raise eyebrows for all L.A. players and fans.
If the Lakers are unable to re-sign the player that basically handed them victories when he was on top of his game, will L.A. remain as the top team in the NBA?
With plenty of other signings and trades circulating throughout the league, (Spurs acquire Richard Jefferson, Magic trade for Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson, Cavaliers trade for Shaq, and Celtics sign Rasheed Wallace), will another top contending team take over and be the favorite to win the "'ship" next season?
The popular 6'10" candy man could be all but done with the defending champions by the start of next season.
What do you think?