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7.18 The Cooler

Rookie PG’s taking over Vegas, and Lamar Odom needs a team

By 07.18.09
Lamar Odom (photo. Tim Tadder)

Lamar Odom (photo. Tim Tadder)

After D-Wade‘s Twitter tease (“I got good news coming, stay tuned”) turned out to be that he’s leaving Converse to take his sneaker game down the hall to Jordan Brand — and not an announcement that Lamar Odom was signing with the Heat — it meant the most important free agent left on the market (with all due respect to Allen Iverson) is still without a team. The Lakers had offered Odom $27 million over three years, but pulled it earlier this week, allowing Miami to get in the mix with a reported five-year, $35M pitch. Last night the L.A. Times said Odom called Lakers owner Jerry Buss himself after Buss got upset that Odom’s agent hadn’t been returning calls. Even if it’s not for $9M a year, when it’s all said and done, we think L.O. will stay in L.A. … Ty Lawson was the star of the day at the Vegas Summer League, dropping 26 points (11-16 FG) and five assists with just two turnovers against Portland, outplaying Jerryd Bayless (19 pts) and showing he could be a hell of a change-of-pace backup to Chauncey BillupsJonny Flynn went for 21 points against the Wizards, and his highlight reel could’ve been a straight copy of Lawson’s — he was unstoppable getting into the lane, carving up Javaris Crittenton and Tyrese Rice on pick-and-rolls and off the dribble one-on-one … Forget the “It’s just summer league” caveat: Sacramento has to be excited about their young inside-outside combo of Jason Thompson and Tyreke Evans. Obviously Kevin Martin is the franchise centerpiece, but Thompson (23 pts, 10 rebs vs. New York yesterday) and Tyreke (18 pts, 3 stls) will be major players if the Kings are ever gonna get back to the playoffs. And maybe they can help keep the Kings in Sacto for the long-term … New York’s Morris Almond had the play of the day, driving past Omri Casspi and hammering one down while Donte Greene tried (and failed) to get out of the way. If you don’t remember Almond, he had some 40- and 50-point games in the D-League and was supposed to be the two-guard of the future in Utah, until Ronnie Brewer made that spot his own and made Almond expendable. The Knicks’ major league roster is crowded and probably won’t be an option now, but Almond can put the ball in the basket, so he should eventually find his place … Austin Daye had 20 points, 10 boards and three steals for Detroit against the Cavs … Anthony Roberson scored 24 to lead Chicago past the Thunder, while James Harden put up 20 points (7-15 FG) and five dimes … Surprisingly, the Nuggets summer roster (a.k.a. Team Nepotism) don’t include Thunder guard Richard Roby, who is Kenyon Martin‘s half-brother. They’re also missing Rodney Billups, Chauncey’s younger brother who played at U of Denver … The Suns beat the D-League Select squad, getting 20 points from Jiri Hubalek. Not even sure who he is, but the German big man is already the best “Jiri” the NBA has ever seen. Not that the standards were set very high with Jiri Welsch, but still … Kind of a forgone conclusion at this point, but Yao Ming is officially out for the ’09-10 season after electing to have surgery on his broken foot. On the bright side, the procedure Yao is having is similar to the one Zydrunas Ilgauskas had back in the day, and he’s still playing. And he’s isn’t any slower than Yao … So now that they know Yao is out, what will the Rockets do to fill the hole in the middle? The Hornets are still trying to unload Tyson Chandler, and since the rumored Phoenix deal went out the window when the Suns bought out Ben Wallace, maybe the Rockets have something New Orleans wants … The Celtics picked up one of the underrated free agents out there on the market, agreeing to an undisclosed deal with Marquis Daniels. Early last season, Daniels was one of Indiana’s most consistent offensive weapons behind Danny Granger, but was slowed down by nagging injuries as the season went on. When he’s healthy, though, he can get buckets with his unorthodox old-man-ish game. The signing probably got more attention than it was worth in the Dime office — Aron is a huge Celts fan and loves Daniels’ game, and Austin just lost his second-favorite player off his favorite team … We heard an interview with Anthony Parker where he was (of course) asked about his sister Candace Parker. “She got all the positive genes in the family,” AP said. “If I had her genes as a guy, I’d probably be LeBron. But I didn’t, so I’m the Danny DeVito of the family.” … We’re out like Jiri Welsch …

TOPICS#LeBron James

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