July 26, 2009 – NBA News and Rumors Roundup

Odom leaning toward signing with Heat

Bulls interested in Boozer?

Plenty of summer activities


Odom leaning toward signing with Heat

By Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports

Lamar Odom(notes) is leaning strongly toward accepting the Miami Heat’s contract offer and leaving the Los Angeles Lakers, multiple sources with knowledge of the talks said.

Odom has not reached a final decision, the sources said, but there is growing belief he will ultimately return to the Heat unless the Lakers improve their current offer.

“It’s close, but it’s not done,” said one source.

Lakers officials and Odom’s representatives resumed talking after a weeklong standoff that began when Jerry Buss, the team’s owner, withdrew a four-year, $36 million offer that guaranteed $30 million. Sources close to Odom said that while the two sides have since talked, Buss is now offering less than the Lakers’ previous proposal.

Odom could sign a five-year, $34 million with the Heat or take a four-year contract that would give him the option to become a free agent in three seasons and seek a more lucrative deal. He also would not have to pay state income tax in Florida.

Odom, who will turn 30 on Nov. 6, played for the Heat during the 2003-04 season – the only season in his 10-year career that he didn’t spend in Los Angeles – and has maintained a good relationship with Dwyane Wade(notes).


Bulls interested in Boozer?

The Bulls, according to sources, have engaged in preliminary discussions about numerous players, including Boozer and Lee. As a restricted free agent, the Knicks are said to be prepared to match any offer around the $8 million range for Lee. Lee is seeking a contract worth as much as $12 million a season. No team can or is willing to pay anywhere near that, sources indicate. And the Knicks have pretty much said no to all sign and trade possibilities. Lee probably will return to the Knicks with a qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent after next season, when the Knicks say they would have the money to sign him. As for the Jazz, they apparently are holding out for a top starting player and substantial cost savings, which they have been unable to get for Boozer. They are saying they’ll be patient and could now wait until well into the season to make a deal. Or just allow Boozer to play out the season and become a free agent and save his $12.7 million salary then.

Both Forman and Del Negro sat for interviews Friday after watching Rose help lead his scrimmage team to a narrow victory in a highly entertaining game involving some terrific young talent.

You could make a heck of a team of the players here hoping to gain one of the three or four spots likely to open for the 2010 USA Basketball team in the World Championships.


Plenty of summer activities

Last year, the Celtics and James Posey turned free agency negotiations into a waiting game. Posey’s patience paid off when he received a four-year contract from the New Orleans Hornets. But neither the Celtics nor Posey attained their goal – winning an NBA championship.

The Celtics took an aggressive approach this offseason, signing Rasheed Wallace within a week after the start of free agent season, then obtaining a commitment from Indiana guard Marquis Daniels.

Several pieces are falling into place in Indiana, which could clarify how Daniels becomes a Celtic, one of them being if Jamaal Tinsley clears waivers Wednesday. The Pacers are in the midst of restructuring, and the departure of Tinsley means none of the Indiana players involved in a 2004 brawl involving the Pistons and fans will be on the Pacer roster.

Indiana also decided not to match Toronto’s offer for guard Jarrett Jack (four years, $20 million). The Pacers added guard Dahntay Jones from Denver (four years, $11 million) and their next target appears to be Dallas center Ryan Hollins. The Pacers have been proactive in the market and, once their roster is settled, they should be able to conclude the Daniels deal.

Unless a sign-and-trade can be worked out, Daniels will receive the biannual salary cap exception contract, worth nearly $2 million. The Celtics apparently are willing to part with Tony Allen, who is in the last year of his contract and could fill a backup role with the Pacers.




Two power forward free agent names have resurfaced on the Nets’ landscape, Hakim Warrick and Glen "Big Baby" Davis. The Nets have made strong inquiries about both players.

Now, if only they could free up a roster spot . . .

Warrick, 6-foot-9, surprisingly became an unrestricted free agent Friday when Memphis rescinded its $3 million qualifying offer. Warrick, who averaged 11.6 points and 5.0 rebounds last season, became expendable when the Grizzlies acquired Zach Randolph. Warrick’s camp said multiple teams quickly inquired, and it was learned the Nets were one of those teams. The Nets, though, are working with the burden of 15 guaranteed contracts.

Team president Rod Thorn said that Warrick "is someone we might have some interest in, but in the end we’d have to do something [with the roster]."

But the Nets also are looking into Davis, who is restricted in Boston. Davis could be a bit pricey because Boston can match any offer.


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