Is New York native Lamar Odom ready to come home? According to ESPNNewYork, the Knicks are his clear-cut choice.
A source with knowledge of Odom’s thinking says the New York Knicks would be “on the top of his list” if the Queens native becomes a free agent.
“Lamar is big on being comfortable,” the source said. “And New York is somewhere he can be comfortable.”
But not so fast, it isn’t that easy. As of right now Odom is under contract with the Dallas Mavericks who will likely use him as trade bait. The Mavericks have until June 29th to trade Odom. Any team with Odom on their roster by that date will either have to buy him out for $2.4 million or accept responsibility for the full $8.2 million that Odom is expected to earn for the 2012-13 season. I’m sure Mavericks will try their hardest to trade him which won’t be as easy as it would be say a year ago. Odom has been discontent since original trade rumors with the Lakers and hit career lows of 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game while playing with the Mavericks. If Dallas is unable to trade him then they will likely waive him and have to pay the $2.4 million, which they don’t want to do. Under the circumstance that Odom is waived then he will become a free agent and have the chance to join the Knicks, but wait there’s another snag.
The Knicks spending is very limited and they are expected to use their mid-level exception to retain restricted free-agent Jeremy Lin, which would leave them with very little money to spend on free agents. On the bright side for Odom, Lin has caught the eye of several teams including the Raptors, Nets, Warriors, Blazers and Mavericks, all who could easily top the Knicks offer.
If all the stars align and Knicks come calling Odom will be ready with open arms. “He wants to find a place where he can end his career, and New York is ideal,” the source said. “He’s won championships in the past and he wants to win another. And to do it there would be great.” He’s also prepared to put his A-game back on, becoming the man who won the Sixth Man of the Year award.