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OK, so it's O for Odom

In the end, Lamar Odom made the smart decision. He turned his back on a second stint with the Heat. Odom-mad

There certainly is no shame in taking a more lucrative offer to return to the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers. The Heat was a long-shot at the beginning to get Odom and, essentially, was so at the end. The Heat certainly made this all interesting. But the Lakers made it obvious.

Odom, according to published reports, accepted the Lakers' four-year, $33 million offer on Thursday. In the process, he walked away from a potential reunion with the Heat, which had offered him up to $34 million over five seasons, with the chance to opt out early.

In the end, are you really surprised? I'm not. The Heat did all it could - offered every dime it had available under league rules - to go after Odom. Guard Dwyane Wade turned Twitter into his own personal recruiting message board for Odom's services.

But this is what you get when you've essentially got $15 to $20 million of unproductive salary-cap weight on the roster from previous bad deals and failed gambles. There's not much wiggle room.

It just didn't work out with Odom. So now what?

In light of Odom's decision, how much excitement could really be generated from the news earlier today that Riley is scheduled to meet with banished free agent point guard Jamaal Tinsley this weekend?

How good does Carlos Boozer look now in the rear-view mirror? Allen Iverson would still be considered an upgrade. But after all of this dancing around with Odom, would Iverson really provide a meaningful answer as a lone addition? Nope.

It's all sort of a microcosm of how the Heat's free agency plans this summer appear to go downhill from here. Credit Riley for doing his job and making a serious push for a roster upgrade - even though the effort only became public after a semi-tantrum from Wade about doing more to improve the team.

Riley peeked out from behind the gloves and took his big shot in free agency - one he was reluctant to take at the end of the season because of the team's salary cap and luxury tax limitations.

At the very least, Riley can't be blamed by fans or questioned by Wade for not trying to do something this offseason to improve the team.  

Now, the new plan seems to be the old plan all over again.

The wait for 2010 resumes.

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/wallacesports)

Comments

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Give Pat Riley credit for what? So far we have done nothing. Are we supposed to waste another of Wade's prime years with this sad team? Why would Wade return to this? Pat Riley the clock is ticking...

Semi-tantrum? Full on conniption!

Everyone knew that Miami wasn't Lamar Odom's preferred destination. It was obvious that he used the Heat to get a better contract with the Lakers. It was just logical for him to choose the Lakers over the Heat by assessing the dynamic of each situation. The Laker had much more leverage than the Heat: Championship roster and more cap flexibility. It's alright though, that bastard had to settle for less anyway because the Lakers reduced their offer so he didn't even get what he wanted. I still think that the Heat will continue trying to make moves this off-season. I think that this disappointment is going to motivate Riley to make some deals to close the gap with the rest of the East contenders. I really see Riley making a hard push for Boozer now. The Heat need to do something significant to just compete in the East this season. Let's make it happen Pat. Let's Go Heat.

Hey Heat,

Bend over. No really, bend over.

Kermit and Fuzzy Bear masterminded 9-11. Learn the truth. www.paranoidsinneedofmedication.com

Major bummer dude. Lamar is a smart business man, I'll give him that much. Oh well, time to spark up another fatty hahaha

Boozer for Haslem, Wright, and maybe a second round pick
AI for Veterans Exception

AI/Chalmers
Wade/Cook
Beasley/Jones
Boozer
JO/Anthony

why do i keep reading people say LO is a smart business man...he's an idiot, all he did was screw with the Heat and lose $3 million dollars from the Lakers (the original 4 year offer was for $36 million, not the $33 million that he signed for). I have lost a lot of respect for that guy....also now he has a team option on that fourth year, which I think was supposed to be guaranteed in the original contract....what a moron. I thought his pride would bring him back home, but it turns out he's just stupid and has no pride....he went back to the Lakers with his tail between his legs and he can have fun being an undervalued part of the Lakers who's fans in LA started talking trash about him as soon as he started exploring his options.

def agreed with dsky0921:

Odom is a pretty dumb business man. He actually lost out on the deal because his 33 mil, even though for less years would still not be as much in miami b/c he wouldnt have to pay the taxes that he has to in LA and we offered him a player's option in the 4th year to maximize the deal. But he prefers to come off the bench and look valuable than be a second man to wade where his stats wouldnt look as productive. Its sad that LA benched him for Ariza, but he has no pride it seems...

I am OK with this Sisquo .. maybe Mr.Wade might even stop crying

AI/Chalmers
Wade/Cook
Beasley/Jones
Boozer
JO/Anthony

Mike,
Good article, but I disagree on two counts. First, Riley is a master at playing the media, he did it again with the Odom/Boozer hoopla. Second, the Heat should definitely sign AI-- he will sell tickets and with a tandem of Wade and Iverson the Heat will have the most dynamic and prolific scoring backcourt in the NBA.

I completely DISAGREE!!! "what you get when you've essentially got $15 to $20 million of unproductive salary-cap weight on the roster from previous bad deals and failed gambles"...
ReREAD this sentence!!! I forgot wait...a sec ...whose president of basketball OPS. and GM...let me see OH its RILEY. I almost forgot....NOT. Whose fault...Pat Riley. Lets remember he almost didnt pick DWADE in 03 Hinrich was his fav. And didnt want Beasley either but thankfully someone with sense whispered in his ear.
Remember..
smush parker
ricky davis
wayne simien
Dorell F'in Wright
and the list goes on I can't remember all of them cause there is too many...BAD PICKS TRADES and signings... whose fault. Riley's
WE ARE LUCKY to HAVE DWADE.
What happens when he's hurt. we are a 15 win laughingstock.

The lakers never offered a fourth year at 9mil before. The best money offer was 3yrs at 27 mil. Which he is basically gauranteed now because he has a 2mil buyout if the lakers don't take the option on the 4th yr.

And for all you who talk about the taxes evening the deals up, your wrong. The difference between 9mil a year and 6mil a year is more than the 1mil savings he would have gotten in taxes. Do the math. It made the heat price more comparable, not equal or better.

LAMAR ODOM on with Evan Cohen on ESPN 760 today:

http://espn760.com/audiovault/evan_cohen.php#

NEW POLL: JUDGE THE MIAMI HEAT
How would you grade the Miami Heat's offseason and future plans? Great Job, Mediocre or Failure?
http://www.micropoll.com/akira/mpview/601588-189436

WADE WILL CRUSE NEXT SEASON TO NOT GET HURT AND THE HEAT WILL BE MAYBE AN 8TH SEED

This makes us 0 for a lot in signing Major Free agents since Riley has been in MIA. L O was considered a risk(problem player) at the time and can't count drafted and traded players.I hope this changes next year or we in a lot of trouble. Will have the money,so no excuses.

Is all of Miami infected with contagious myopia??
Utah is NOT going to trade Haslem for Boozer!
Boozer averaged 20 and 13.
Against the Lakers.
In the playoffs.
Just a little shy of what Dwight Howard did against the same team.
Yes, Boozer wants to play in Miami. Utah could care less where he goes - they only care about getting the best players possible in return. That isn't what Miami is offering them. Therefore no trade has been made.

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