PORTLAND, Ore. — Then there are the easy contract matters that await the Lakers ...
They will be forced to decide what to do with Vlade Divac and Luke Walton, and could end up listening to trade offers for any of their five players who will be in the last year of their contracts, but the Lakers won't have to think too hard about what will happen to forwards Brian Grant and Devean George.
Grant, in a no-brainer, said he would not opt out of the last two years of his contract and become a free agent, which he has the option of doing after this season.
"I don't think they're even going to ask me," he said.
Grant, who is averaging 3.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and is bothered by severe tendinitis in his right knee, will make $14.3 million next season and $15.4 million in 2006-07.
George said it was "very likely" he would exercise a one-year player option that would pay him $5 million next season.
George could decline the option and become a free agent, but he averaged only 6.8 points in 14 games because of complications from off-season ankle surgery.
"I wasn't able to market myself," he said. "This contract is guaranteed money."
The Lakers are guaranteed to finish behind the Clippers for only the third time in 27 seasons, but they probably won't be hearing much from their Staples Center co-tenants.
"I wouldn't think it matters who's No. 1 in L.A. if both teams are out of the playoffs," Coach Frank Hamblen said.
Forward Lamar Odom underwent a one-hour surgical procedure Tuesday morning to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. It will be about four months before he can shoot a basketball.... The Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves are out of the playoffs but still eyeing each other as they close in on a league record for defensive futility. The Lakers are forcing 11.75 turnovers a game, the Timberwolves 11.71. The Houston Rockets set the record low of 12 turnovers forced a game in 2001-02.... Hamblen offered a positive look at Laker rebuilding prospects: "There's pieces out there. Look at what Phoenix did. They had some parts and added a couple more [for the] best record in the league."
at Portland, 7, Channel 9
Site -- The Rose Garden.
Radio -- 570, 1330.
Records -- Lakers 34-47, Trail Blazers 26-55.
Record vs. Trail Blazers -- 2-0.
Update -- Someone's got to win: The Lakers are 2-18 in their last 20 games and the Trail Blazers are in a 4-25 slump.