After a severe meltdown with the Dallas Mavericks, former Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom was deactivated by the team and sent home before the NBA playoffs. As a result, Odom missed out on a playoff bonus worth $14,000 and has an uncertain future in the NBA.
Before June 29, the Mavs must make a decision on what to do with Odom with a few different options on the table. There’s no question at this point in time that the team intends to part ways with the veteran forward, but it is uncertain whether or not they’ll be able to trade him before the deadline.
If the Mavs are unable to trade Odom before June 29, they will most likely buy him out for $2.4 million in order to avoid being responsible for $8.2 million that he’s owed next season. With that being said, Odom will become a free agent and able to sign with any team in the league other than Dallas.
There has been some talk of Odom considering signing with the New York Knicks. There’s no indication of any interest from New York as of right now, but the two-time NBA champion is stressing being comfortable for the rest of his career in the league.
Another strong possibility for Odom via free agency this summer is to once again sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. With the Lakers looking to improve the bench, Odom would be a welcome addition back in Los Angeles and an interesting option for the Lakers’ front office.
According to Daniel Buerge of LakersNation.com, ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith says there’s mutual interest between Odom and the Lakers:
“(Odom) desperately wants to come back and wants to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. Mike Brown desperately wants him back. He’s going to talk to Buss and Lakers hierarchy to see what they can do about getting Lamar Odom back.”
It’s no secret that Odom’s presence was missed off the bench for the Lakers in the 2011-12 NBA season and throughout the NBA playoffs. The lack of a consistent offensive threat off the bench was a glaring problem for the Lakers and something that needs to be address in the offseason.
Obviously, the fate of Odom is in the hands of the Mavs at this point in time with a trade potentially on the horizon. If Odom isn’t dealt by June 29, a reunion with the Lakers is looking more and more likely.
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