Only Billy Hunter and David Stern can now save us from “Khloe & Lamar in Istanbul.” There may be no greater reason to resolve the lockout and get the NBA players back to work.
Lakers forward Lamar Odom has reached a deal to play with Besiktas in Turkey, joining the team that already has Deron Williams, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. Take it with a grain of salt, Besiktas officials can overstate things, but this may well be accurate.
He stepped in as a deal to bring Williams’ Nets teammate Brook Lopez to Turkey fell apart.
Final details will not be sorted out before Friday, sources said, but Odom has indicated that he plans to join the Istanbul-based team as early as next week if the NBA lockout continues.
Sources told ESPN.com that the deal would pay Odom in excess of $2 million if he spends the rest of the season with Besiktas. The deal — first reported in Turkey by NTV Spor and local journalist Mete Aktas — will include an opt-out clause to return to the NBA as soon as the lockout ends, same as in Williams’ contract.
Kevin Love, Luol Deng, LaMarcus Aldridge, Carlos Boozer, Marcin Gortat and even Dwight Howard had been reached out to by the bold Turkish side (this is the team that brought in Allen Iverson last year.
Besiktas had gone hard after a new big man after Cleveland Cavaliers big man Semih Erden broke his thumb.
One interesting dynamic here — Odom’s wife is Khloe Kardashian, who is of Armenian descent, a people with a bitter history related to Turkey. There will be howls and protests within the Armenian community aimed at him and his wife if he goes to play there.
If it happens, Odom’s versatile game should fit in well with the European system of play. It’s just the television shows that disturb us.
Quick an update on an injury we told you about previously.
Cavaliers center Semih Erden has now had surgery on the thumb he broke in a game this week for Turkish side Besiktas, reports Sportando on twitter. He will be out at least six weeks with the injury.
That means if a settlement to the NBA lockout comes Cleveland may be without its big man for at least part of training camp and maybe into the start of the season.
The injury came in the same Besiktas game where Deron Williams dropped 50 points. With Erden out Besiktas has stepped up efforts to get another big man and reached out to a number of players including Lamar Odom and Marcin Gortat.
You knew the injuries would start to add up as NBA players started to find places to play in Europe. So far there hasn’t been a major one, but some minor ones are coming up.
The latest is Cavaliers center Semih Erden, reports Turkish journalist Mete Aktaş (via Marc Stein of ESPN). Here are the tweets.
7-foot Turkish center Semih Erden of Cavs has broken left thumb and will be sidelined “at least” 2 months
The injury happened tonight during Besiktas’ European Cup game against German side Goettingen…. The same game which Deron Williams scored 50 points
What that means is that if the NBA labor situation is resolved in time for a season — even a 50-game season starting in February, Erden may not be ready to go. Not great news for the Cavs.
And yes, D-Will dropped 50. He has figured out how to make his game fit in overseas.
With Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal both sidelined during last Saturday’s game against the Wizards, the Celtics were forced to rely on Semih Erden and Glen Davis as the entirety of their center rotation. When healthy, Boston is the deepest team in the NBA, and yet for his particular game their frontline had dwindled down to a pair of last resorts.
Both O’Neals are set to miss tonight’s game as well, but the Celtics have an unexpected addition to their center core: Kendrick Perkins, who has missed the entire season to date with a right knee injury, will make his return to the lineup, according to the Celtics’ Twitter feed. Perkins claimed to be about two weeks away from game action as of this past Sunday, yet Doc Rivers is prepared to bring Perk off the bench to play 12-16 minutes in the middle. Whatever magical meal Perkins had for lunch on Monday, I’ll have two of ’em.
Honestly, Perkins should need no introduction. His interior defense has been a huge asset to the Celtics, and his return represents something fairly frightening: a Celtics team even more fearsome and more complete than the one we’ve seen all year. Boston has had their ups and downs, but injuries aside they’re as good — or better — than any team in the league. Add Perkins to that already potent lineup and allow both O’Neals to come off the bench in the process (or start Shaq and brink Perkins off the bench, whatever Rivers fancies) and the Celtics look pretty damn solid inside. The rotations are there, the defensive pressure is there, and now, for the first time all season, the center position is starting to come together as intended. The next step is getting Perkins back into NBA shape and reintegrating both O’Neals, but this is a big day for Boston.
What, you didn’t expect Celtics centers to start getting healthy, did you?
Doc Rivers Monday told WEEI not to be expecting Jermaine O’Neal, one of this summer’s free agent acquisitions in Boston, back for a little while.
“Two, three weeks would be a guestimate,” Doc Rivers said Monday. “We don’t know exactly. We’re going through a couple of more evaluations.”
This is still a rest and treatment thing, Rivers added, they are not talking about surgery. But when you “guestimate” weeks, adding later there is no real timetable, then it is pretty serious.
Shaquille O’Neal is still getting the starts right now, but he has not been particularly impressive or healthy. Semih Erden has been behind him playing like a rookie, although with moments that make you dream he could be a good long-term fit. Meanwhile, it’s more than a month before we can start having a serious “Kendrick Perkins is going to be back soon” conversation.