It was reportedly in the books. Lamar Odom and the Los Angeles Lakers had agreed to a contract worth $27 million for three years.
Despite the reported agreement, Odom was upset that the Lakers did not give him a lengthier contract. Lakers owner Jerry Buss did not give Lamar a deadline but decided to pull the contract because of no response from Lamar.
In an interview with the LA Times this past Monday, Odom discussed why the deal was not finalized.
"I don't know. That's why there are negotiations. I don't know. Of course I hope they can get it done. It's negotiations. Both sides are going to give and take. That's part of it. I don't know how long it's going to take," Odom said. "... The Lakers have been too good to me to rub people over there the wrong way. The Lakers have been nothing but great to me, and I want to keep the relationship great."
Odom's agent has been talking to other teams for a possible deal, giving Buss extra incentive to pull the deal. Mark Cuban in Dallas and Pat Riley in Miami were both contacted. Depending what happens between Paul Millsap and the Trail Blazers, Portland is another option for Odom.
Both the Mavericks' and Heat's offers are believed to be three-year, $19 million deals. They would have Odom re-sign with his Bird rights.
On the other hand, the Blazers would be able to give Odom the five-year, $50 million contract that he wants. It would be the same contract Hedo Turkoglu was offered before he made a U-turn to the Toronto Raptors.
Odom said during the season and the playoffs that he wanted to remain in LA. The Lakers organization said they wanted Odom back.
This seems to be the furthest thing away from true at the moment.
The LA Lakers lost Trevor Ariza already but replaced him with hard-nosed defender Ron Artest. It's also uncertain whether if Odom would start if he re-signed. Lamar initially expressed disinterest in coming off the bench but did well in the sixth man role.
Odom is a key part of the Lakers rotation. He fills in when Andrew Bynum picks up those two early fouls in the first quarter. He also takes a load off Kobe Bryant's shoulders when he's in.
With the addition of Artest, the Lakers are being picked as the favorites for next year. How will people feel if Odom is not with the Lakers when the ball tips next November?
Odom and Ariza planned to come back. With Ariza gone, the Lakers must do whatever they can to make Odom happy so they can have a bigger chance to win the "whole enchilada."