LOS ANGELES â€“ Lamar Odom will be on a plane today, bound for Miami, where the Clippers' restricted free-agent forward is expected to receive a contract offer from the Miami Heat.
The Heat, its course turned when the Clippers matched Miami's six-year, $82 million offer sheet for power forward Elton Brand, is prepared to make a six-year, $60 million offer to the 6-foot-10 Odom.
The prospect of the Clippers matching any offer made to Odom and also matching the six-year, $42 million offer sheet Utah gave Corey Maggette might have improved late Monday.
That's because Golden State guard Gilbert Arenas spurned a six-year, $60 million Clippers offer sheet and signed one offered by the Washington Wizards for six year and in excess of $60 million, Arenas' father, Gilbert Arenas Sr., told several media outlets. Attempts to reach Arenas' agent, Dan Fegan, were unsuccessful.
Had the Clippers signed Arenas, Clippers owner Donald T. Sterling might have been less willing to retain Maggette and Odom.
In addition, point guard Andre Miller has signed a six-year, $52 million offer sheet with Denver front-loaded with a $10 million signing bonus.
Odom, who has battled injury and personal problems the past two seasons, is the Clippers' most versatile player when healthy.
Odom must decide whether to sign an offer sheet with Miami, accept a contract extension offer from the Clippers or sign a one-year tender offer with the Clippers and take his chances next summer as an unrestricted free agent.
Clippers executive vice president Andy Roeser put the futures of veteran unrestricted free agents Eric Piatkowski and Cherokee Parks on hold. Piatkowski is being pursued by several teams, most notably Cleveland.
Another Clippers unrestricted free agent, Sean Rooks, signed a one-year contract Monday with the New Orleans Hornets for the veterans' minimum of $1.070 million. Rooks, 33, was a backup center and power forward with the Clippers for the past three seasons.
D.J. TO BUCKS?
Dennis Johnson, former Clippers coach, likely will be contacted by the Milwaukee Bucks as a candidate to replace George Karl, fired Sunday with one year left on his contract. On the early list of likely candidates are former Detroit Pistons coach Rick Carlisle, Seattle SuperSonics assistant coach Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts, who finished last season as the Atlanta Hawks coach after Lon Kruger was fired