Clippers refuse to match offer sheet, Heat get F Odom

Updated: August 26, 2003, 11:27 AM ET

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Clippers granted Lamar Odom's wish Monday, announcing they will not match the offer sheet he signed earlier this month with the Miami Heat.

The Clippers already matched offer sheets to retain the services of All-Star forward Elton Brand and swingman Corey Maggette. But Odom, who desperately wanted out of Los Angeles, joined point guard Andre Miller, who jumped to the Denver Nuggets.

"After long and careful consideration, we have elected not to match the offer sheet presented to us by Lamar Odom," Clippers president of basketball operations Elgin Baylor said in a statement. "In the final analysis, the decision was based on issues of character and other risks involved."

The 6-10 Odom was suspended by the NBA early in his career for violation of the league's anti-drug policy. He began last season rehabilitating injuries from the previous campaign and averaged 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in 49 games.

While terms of the contract were not disclosed, numerous reports pegged it at $63 million over six years.

"We feel that he is a player that ... would complement the talents of our last two first-round picks - Caron Butler and Dwyane Wade," Heat coach Pat Riley said when Odom signed the offer sheet on August 12.

"I also believe Odom would complement Eddie Jones and Brian Grant, our two veteran leaders. As I have said before, we are committed to winning and will do whatever it takes to give our fans talented players and a great team."

Odom, the fourth overall pick in the 1999 draft, spent his first four seasons in Los Angeles, where he played for four different coaches.

Riley tried to pry Brand away from the Clippers, but they matched a six-year, $82 million offer sheet.

Los Angeles initially offered Odom a three-year, $24 million deal. He could have signed a one-year, $3.9 million qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next season.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index