It wasn't as rough as
"He left a distaste in Lakerland," Jackson said of Howard on
"What DH brings to the game is power and D. This past year didn't show due it to rehab and confusion. If he is better [off] an Astro, so be it."
Calling Howard an "Astro" instead of a Rocket is typical of Jackson's humor.
Jackson also predicted
Jackson's comments weren't as cutting as O'Neal's.
The former Lakers center continued his years-long criticism of Howard by saying Howard couldn't stand the "bright lights" that came with being a key part of the Lakers and was better-suited to go to a "little town" such as Houston.
"That's right, little town, I said it," O'Neal added.
Of course, the big question is what
The Lakers are slowly trying to build a roster for next season. Emphasis on slowly.
They are intrigued at the chance of getting
Odom, 33, made $8.2 million last season but might have to take a pay cut to $1.4 million, the veteran's minimum for a player of his experience. The Lakers could also sign him via their "mini" midlevel exception of $3.2 million.
Odom spent last season with the Clippers, averaging four points and 5.9 rebounds before becoming a free agent last week. The Clippers have turned their attention to veteran
Odom helped the Lakers earn two championships and won the
The Lakers currently have eight players under contract for a total of $77 million, including
They don't want to add any long-term contracts, knowing well their only player under contract for 2014-15 is
"It's as wiped-clear of a roster as Miami had in 2010," said NBA salary cap expert Larry Coon.
Miami was able to get far enough under the cap to sign
As for Howard's departure, Coon was "ambivalent" from a financial viewpoint.
"On one hand, he was the centerpiece of their rebuild," said Coon, who runs cbafaq.com, a heavily referenced website within the basketball industry. "On the other hand, you can make the strong argument that his prime was a few years ago and a max salary might not work out so well."
Howard would have been under contract with the Lakers until the end of the 2017-18 season.