Tag: Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom, unable to meet Phil Jackson’s standards, waived by Knicks


The NBA considered Lamar Odom damaged goods even through Phil Jackson signing his former player to the Knicks.

Odom has allegedly battled drug addiction, and he’s been in trouble with the law.

He’s also struggled on the court the last couple years, and few 34-year-olds produce better as they age.

There was a lot to overcome.

Unfortunately, Odom won’t get that chance in New York.

It’s not clear whether Odom failed to meet on-court or off-court standards, though the wording certainly implies the latter.

The Knicks expected Odom to make the roster in the fall, and though I’m hardly sold on his ability to play at this point, it would have been difficult for him to prove at this time of year he couldn’t produce. I think basketball would have become an issue for Odom, whose fully unguaranteed contract woul have become guaranteed Sept. 11, but it’s hard to see basketball being the issue here.

If there were off-court problems, we’ll probably hear more about them soon. By marrying Khloe Kardashian, Odom opened himself to more exposure. Their divorce won’t stop prying entertainment writers from joining NBA writers trying to get to the bottom of this.

Likely, this ends Odom’s career. Hopefully, at least his life is in order.

How much can the Pacers offer Lance Stephenson?

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson’ days with the Pacers might be numbered.

Indiana reportedly offered Stephenson a five-year, $44 million contract. His response? Look around for a better deal.

In turn, the Pacers have gone on a spending spree that prevents them from still offering Stephenson even that. They:

Because Miles received the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, the Pacers face a hard cap this season – projected to be $81 million.

To fit under the hard cap, the largest contract Indiana could offer Stephenson is five years, $43,708,217.

But few think the Pacers would go that far. The luxury tax line – projected to be $77 million – is likely their limit.

To stay out of the tax, Indiana could offer Stephenson just five years, $20,708,217.

I don’t think that’s going to cut it for a 23-year-old near-All-Star. Stephenson averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game this season. The only other players who hit 13-7-4 in the last 20 years at such a young age – Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Chris Webber, Tracy McGrady, Lamar Odom, Paul George, Grant Hill and Juwan Howard – all received massive paydays.

Questions about Stephenson’s maturity will lower his offers, but not all the way down to barely above $4 million per year.

If the Pacers – who have few resources to replace him if he walks – want to keep Stephenson, they must trim salary. They have three reasonable unilateral options to do that:

  • Waiving Donald Sloan, whose salary is fully unguaranteed
  • Waiving Luis Scola, whose salary is partially guaranteed
  • Waiving and stretching Ian Mahinmi, who’s still owed $8 million the next two years and would therefore have a cap hit of $1.6 million each of the net five years

Depending on which player(s), Indiana wants to waive, here’s how much money Stephenson could make on a five-year contract:

Waive Stephenson’s potential five-year salary keeping Pacers under tax
Sloan $26,160,154
Mahinmi $34,508,217
Scola $37,541,647
Sloan+Mahinmi $34,697,507
Sloan+Scola $37,730,937
Scola+Mahinmi $46,078,999
All Three $46,268,289

The luxury tax is not assessed until the final day of the regular season. Indiana could always sign Stephenson and trim salary later, though that plan would obviously be risky.

The Pacers are clearly seeking a big trade, and though it might prove difficult, they might trim payroll in such a deal. Maybe Larry Bird has something up his sleeve.

But unless he does or the market for Stephenson is cooler than expected, Indiana is running out of room for Stephenson beneath the tax line.

Knicks GM says he expects Lamar Odom to be part of Knicks next fall

Lamar Odom

Take this report with a handful of salt for two key reasons:

1) Whenever a player is going through rehab and workouts to get back the teams are generous with compliments, to encourage the steps.

2) Knicks GM Steve Mills is not exactly the power broker in the Knicks front office. Nice title but he’s not the guy making the call.

That said, after the Derek Fisher introductory press conference broke up, Mills was interviewed on a variety of topics and was asked about Lamar Odom, who is supposed to be working out with the Knicks this summer and getting back in basketball shape. Odom is technically under contract for next season with the Knicks but that is not a guaranteed deal.

Mills said he liked the track Odom was on and expected him to be part of the Knicks team next season.

We’ll see. Odom has a lot of personal things to get over to get his head right enough to get back in the league. If he can do that, can he get a body that will turn 35 early next season into a condition well enough to play in the NBA again?

Here is what Jackson said about Odom a few weeks back when asked:

“We know he’s a really good basketball player. If he wants to put himself back together in a basketball life, he’s got a chance to do this by having a whole summer to work at it and get himself back in basketball condition so he can play. He’s told me that’s what he wanted to do. Having a relationship with him, I figure this is a pretty good risk/reward situation for us.”

The Knicks could use a guy like Odom, at least the old Odom. First off, his point forward skills are difficult to find in this league. Second, the Knicks could use guys that know the triangle offense because that is what Fisher suggested he would run, and it’s an offense that takes a while to really grasp because it is read and react, not traditional set plays. Tom Thibodeau brought Brian Scalabrine over from Boston to Chicago as a player, not because Scalabrine was phenomenal at his defensive schemes, but he understood them and could almost serve as a second coach when teaching the system. Odom could serve that kind of role.

If he is ready.

Lamar Odom to begin comeback attempt at Knicks training facility this week

Kobe Bryant And Phil Jackson Address The Media

The Knicks signed Lamar Odom with just one game remaining in the regular season, but the move had nothing to do with the current year’s roster, and might not ultimately impact the team moving forward.

Odom has a strong prior relationship with Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson, and this was more of a gesture to give Odom an opportunity with a team to get back into NBA shape over the summer, and try and make New York’s (or another team’s) roster in time for training camp in October.

That effort is set to begin this week.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Lamar Odom, Phil Jackson’s first player acquisition, will start his comeback at the Knicks’ training facility Monday. …

“He’s coming to town this week,” Jackson said in his first comments on Odom. “We know he’s a really good basketball player.

“He wants to put himself back together, and he has a chance to do that by having the whole summer to work at it and getting himself back in basketball condition to play. He told me that’s what he wants to do. Having a relationship with him. It’s a pretty good risk-reward situation for us.’’

Odom didn’t play in the NBA last year, reportedly due to alleged issues with drugs, but did sign on to play in Spain a few months ago before a back injury ended that short-lived project.

Jackson and Odom won two titles together while both were employed by the Lakers in the 2009 and 2010 seasons, and Odom took home the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2011 before L.A.’s title run ended at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks.

Odom’s contract is non-guaranteed, so there’s no financial risk in the Knicks giving him a shot.

Report: Phil Jackson told Raymond Felton Knicks would trade him

Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks

Phil Jackson has yet to put his stamp on the Knicks with a major move, not even a coaching hiring (unless you count signing Lamar Odom or firing Mike Woodson, whose departure seemed likely long before Jackson arrived).

But Jackson will eventually hire a coach (I assume), and he doesn’t want to stop there.

Adam Zagoria of TheKnicksBlog:

Knicks President Phil Jackson told point guard Raymond Felton during exit meetings last month that he will be traded during the offseason, a league source told SNY.tv.

This is where I think Jackson’s learning curve as an executive is steep.

Felton, who will turn 30 next month, is coming off probably the worst season of his career. He’s under contract for two more years at $7,744,006. Oh, and he’s facing felony gun charges.

Jackson doesn’t want that guy on his team? Who does?

Good luck trading Felton – especially without draft picks to convince another team to take him. The NBA’s other 29 general managers aren’t suckers.

So, what happens if training camp begins and Jackson hasn’t found a trade partner? Will Felton play his heart out for a team he knows doesn’t want him? Will the Knicks just waive him and accept the burdensome cap hit?

Unless this is some type of mind trick with Felton, Jackson has set himself up for a bad outcome .