Slept-on stars who could change teams: Lamar Odom, Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur, Ben Gordon, and Andre Miller
Every week, HoopsVibe The Blog will drop a basketball related list for fans to debate. We call it ‘Listed’ …
Optimism reigns supreme in training camp. Each team is undefeated, so there is hope. No matter how dire the situation becomes in November.
October also brings some uncertainty. Player roles are undefined. Coaches and GMs, after summer makeovers, must sell their club to the ticket buying public even though they are sometimes unsure of what they have.
Player contracts are the biggest source of uncertainty. Showdowns with management often occur when a superstar, or even a star, is entering the last year of a deal.
These high-stakes poker games end one of four ways. First, team and star agree to an extension before the contract expires. Second, team trades star before contract expires. Third, contract expires, team re-signs star as a free agent. Fourth, contract expires, team and star can’t agree on terms, so both move on.
Several big names become free agents next summer, which will surely alter the NBA landscape. For example, Allen Iverson and Denver could part ways. Shawn Marion, after one year in South Beach, may head elsewhere. Ron Artest, Jason Kidd, and Rasheed Wallace are also looking like they’ll have new zip codes.
Forget the big names. Several slept-on stars –the ones with more of a regional following- could also be with different teams.
In this edition of ‘Listed’, HoopsVibe The Blog drops five players who could have new homes by October 2009.
#5) Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Lakers.
2008-09 salary: 16 million dollars.
Why he could leave: The lanky swing may want a change of scenery, while the purple-and-gold may want cap relief, especially if Odom struggles as the fourth starter or sixth man.
#4) Carlos Boozer, Utah Jazz.
2008-09 salary: 12.5 million dollars.
Why he could leave: He could opt-out of the final year of his contract with the Jazz and sign with Miami. Boozer, after all, has a relationship with Heat owner Mickey Arison and superstar Dwyane Wade.
#3) Mehmet Okur, Utah Jazz.
2008-09 salary: 9 million dollars.
Why he could leave: Deron Williams just signed a ‘max’ contract and no market exists for Andrei Kirilenko. Utah, if they do re-sign Boozer, could let the Euro’s salary expire and collect the cap relief.
#2) Ben Gordon, Chicago Bulls.
2008-09 salary: unknown.
Why he could leave: Have you watched the soap opera As Ben and the Bulls Turn? Expect Gordon to sign Chicago’s one-year qualifying offer and then strike-out chasing free agent riches next summer.
#1) Andre Miller, Philadelphia 76ers.
2008-09 salary: 10 million dollars.
Why he could leave: Last year, Miller played like an All-Star. The steady table-setter is perfect for the up-and-coming 76ers. This next contract will be Miller’s last big money deal, so there is no guarantee he re-signs with Philadelphia.