Since being traded to the Dallas Mavericks by the Los Angeles Lakers before the season started, things have been rocky for forward Lamar Odom. He has been awful with his new squad, was even nominally demoted to the D-League at one point. Now there are whispers that the Mavericks could buy out his contract before the March 23 deadline to do so.
While there is no reason to believe the Mavs will actually buy Odom out, there is a good chance they are seriously having second thoughts about adding him to the roster.
One rumor that is gaining steam purports that the Los Angeles Clippers would love to acquire Odom but they simply don’t have the pieces to tempt Dallas into making that move. But if he isn’t shipped to the Clippers before the NBA’s trade deadline, that may only delay the inevitable.
As things stand right now, it’s hard to believe the Mavericks will bring the 13-year veteran back next season. And if they waive him before his 2012-13 salary becomes fully guaranteed Mark Cuban and company would only owe him $2 million.
If he was released, he could then sign end up signing with the Clippers as a way to get back to Los Angeles, where he clearly wants to be. For those who don’t remember, he played the first four seasons of his NBA career for the Clippers after they drafted him with the fourth pick of the 1999 NBA Draft.
Odom complained about being shipped out of Los Angeles following the failed trade for Chris Paul, then he demanded a trade. That request was granted and the Lakers looked like fools for moving him. Now it appears they got the better part of that deal, adding a first-round pick and a valuable trade exception they could use to add a piece before this year’s deadline.
So far this season the 32-year-old Odom has played in 34 games, and is averaging just 21.4 minutes, 7.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He’s also shooting just 36.1 percent from the field.
Those numbers are horrendous when you consider that Odom won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award last season.
Whatever happens you should expect that Odom won’t be in Dallas much longer.