NBA News and Rumor Roundup – June 16, 2009

After Lamar Odom, the Lakers’ options aren’t pretty

Celtics, Glen Davis moving closer

Odom to Miami?

Heat targeting both Boozer and Odom

After Lamar Odom, the Lakers’ options aren’t pretty

Broderick Turner

So where will the Lakers turn to now that they have pulled the deals they offered to Lamar Odom off the table?

The pickings left on the free-agent heap are slim, and were made even more difficult for the Lakers because they have exhausted their best spending tools.

They used the mid-level exception of $5.8 million on Ron Artest and the "bi-annual exception" of $1.99 million on Shannon Brown. All they have left at their disposal to sign a player is the veteran’s minimum annual salary because they are over the salary cap.

The veteran’s minimum is a sliding scale, starting at $457,588 for a rookie and going up to as much as $1.306 million for a veteran with 10 or more years of experience.

Then the issue becomes whether an unrestricted free agent will take less money from the Lakers because they are the NBA champions who have a chance to repeat and they play in Los Angeles.

The Lakers could do a sign-and-trade for Odom, or trade another player to get a quality player.

The Lakers probably will look for a big man, someone who can play backup power forward and center.

Players such as Chris Wilcox, Joe Smith and Drew Gooden fit that mold and are still available, but probably will get the mid-level exception or a portion of it.,0,7776937.story

Celtics, Glen Davis moving closer

Mark Murphy

Though the Celtics have not made an offer to Glen Davis, the restricted free agent and his team may be drifting closer together thanks to NBA’s strapped economy.

Though Davis is still hopeful of landing a mid-level-sized deal – one that starts at $5.8 million – the field is limited.

Detroit, a team with clear interest, has $3.2 million to offer, and is reportedly hesitant to send Davis an offer sheet with the knowledge that the Celtics will gladly match that amount. The Pistons, rather than have their cash placed in limbo by the seven-day period the Celtics would have to match the offer, are instead pursuing other options.

Three league sources close to negotiations confirmed that the Celtics explored a now-dead sign-and-trade deal that would have sent Davis to Miami in exchange for restricted free agent Jamario Moon. The plan never got off the ground because both young players fall into a dreaded category known as base-year compensation.

With both coming out of their respective first contracts, only half of the money in the first year of their new deals could be used as a match for trade purposes. In turn, a match wasn’t able to work because both the first-year salaries of Davis and Moon are expected to differ.

Odom to Miami?

Elliott Teaford

It seems likely that Lamar Odom could sign a five-season deal with the Miami Heat at the mid-level exception ($5.8 million for next season and $34 million or so for the length of the contract) by the end of the week. The Dallas Mavericks also are interested in giving Odom the same deal, but he seems less likely to land in Dallas. Reports out of Miami indicate the Heat are trying to sign Odom and trade for Carlos Boozer of the Utah Jazz in an attempt to satisfy Dwyane Wade’s demands for a beefed up roster next season.

Odom wants a five-season deal somewhere north of $45 million, which so far the Lakers haven’t offered to him. Talks have ceased for now after owner Jerry Buss took the Lakers’ offers of four years, $36 million or three years, $30 million off the table Monday. It’s certainly possible the Lakers could resume talks with Odom and his agent, but it seems just as possible that Odom could be headed to South Florida soon.

Heat targeting both Boozer and Odom

Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports

Pat Riley has listened to Dwyane Wade(notes) express his unease with the Miami Heat sitting out the Eastern Conference’s arms race this summer. As the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic elevated themselves as championship contenders, the Heat president sold his superstar on patience, promising a plan to surround him with talent for the long run.

Now, the Heat are working furiously to deliver Lamar Odom(notes) and Carlos Boozer(notes) to the shores of Biscayne Bay. The Heat are trying to sell Odom on a five-year, $34 million contract at the mid-level exception, and a league executive with knowledge of the talks says Miami has also hatched a three-way proposal with the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies to secure Boozer.

The essentials of a possible deal would include Miami sending forward Udonis Haslem(notes) and Dorell Wright to Utah. Because Memphis is under the cap, Utah could move Wright’s $2.8 million salary to the Grizzlies and save itself approximately $5.6 million with salary and luxury-tax payments. Memphis would probably get cash and picks for its trouble. The Heat would have to send one more small contract to make the math on the salary exchange work.

Miami could pay Boozer his $12.7 million salary this season and own his Bird rights to sign him to an extension next summer.

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