Monday, July 27, 2009

Buss, What's The Fuss?

The latest buzz has Lamar Odom leaning toward accepting a deal with the Miami Heat. If this happens, no one will be more to blame than Jerry Buss and the Laker brass. It's astonishing to think that the owner of the hottest franchise in all of sports is squabbling over one million dollars a year. That's correct, Odom is seeking 10 million a year over five years and Jerry Buss refuses to pay him more than 9 million a year. If there was ever a player that should be overpaid, it would be Lamar Odom. Why? Lamar Odom is the Lakers bench. While the Lakers may possess one of the best starting units in basketball, they have absolutely no reserve that comes close to the caliber of play that Lamar Odom brings when he enters the game. The Celtics have Rasheed Wallace, Dallas has Jason Terry, (last year's six man award winner), and the Spurs have all-star Manu Ginobili anchoring their second unit. Without Lamar Odom the Lakers’ best reserve will be the hope that Luke Walton suddenly morphs into the player his father once was. The Lakers blew away the western competition last year, but most analysts feel that the reloaded Spurs have closed the gap. According to ESPN’s trade machine, losing Lamar Odom would result in 7 less wins for the Lakers. Considering the Lakers won 65 times last year that would mean a win total of 58 without Lamar Odom. The Spurs had 54 wins last year with Ginobili, Parker and Duncan missing long stretches at a time. Given their recent acquisitions, it's not hard to imagine the Spurs winning 60 or more games this season. If Jerry Buss and the LA brass would only rationalize the situation from a win/lose standpoint then the one million dollars that is hindering the deal with Odom doesn't seem like a whole lot after all. Jerry Buss bought the Lakers for 60+ million and their current value is somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 million. Surely Mr. Buss has the money needed to keep the Laker's dynasty dreams alive.

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