The New York Knicks are reportedly interested in signing free agent big man Lamar Odom. However, it’s more than likely that if the Knicks did bring him on board, he wouldn’t play a significant role on the team until next season.
This speculation ties closely to new Knicks president Phil Jackson, who coached Odom on the Los Angeles Lakers to a championship over the Boston Celtics in 2010 and a Sixth Man of the Year Award the following season. Odom has showed multiple times that he can be an impact player on the basketball court, but only when healthy – both in the mind and body. Can the soon-to-be 35-year old Odom actually make an impact next season for the Knicks?
Odom, who hasn’t played in the NBA since last season, and hasn’t actually played a pivotal role on a team since his Sixth Man of the Year season in 2011, was arrested this past summer on a DUI charge. The 14-year NBA veteran also spent time in rehab for drugs and alcohol. On top of all of that, his now ex-wife Khloé Kardashian filed for divorce in December of this past year. Given all that off the court drama you would have to wonder about Odom’s ability to play basketball at a high level moving forward.
Phil Jackson has already reportedly been seen talking to both Metta World Peace and Lamar Odom as he is on a “talent hunt” for a Knicks team that will have very limited cap flexibility to work with next season. It certainly makes sense that Jackson would try to recruit players whom he had success with in the past, especially since the Knicks will almost certainly be running a triangle offense made famous by Jackson himself.
Personally, I think for the Knicks to bring back Metta World Peace and bring in Lamar Odom, at least for a trial, makes a ton of sense. Jackson having guys he’s comfortable with in the fold would be a great idea for a team which seemed to lack leadership after losing Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby this past season. Odom would probably be one of the better defensive players on the Knicks roster right now and almost certainly be one of the most intelligent (basketball smart that is) players on the roster too. It seems like a low-risk, high-reward move to me.
Of course right now this is all speculation, as no deal is imminent and Phil Jackson will certainly have his hands full trying to piece together the roster this off-season.