Odom still not back with Mavs, will not be bought out

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The Dallas Mavericks returned to practice on Monday but Lamar Odom was not with them. The struggling forward is dealing with a family issue (reportedly his father is ill) that had him miss the final game before the All-Star break as well.

There is no timetable for his return and coach Rick Carlisle refused to give details, reports ESPNDallas.com.

The missed game combined with Odom’s struggles fitting in with the Mavericks this season has led to all kinds of rumors the Mavericks were going to buy out Odom’s deal.

Not happening, owner Mark Cuban said.

“We haven’t discussed a buyout and we wouldn’t do a buyout. No chance that happens at all. We want to help Lamar work through any personal issues and expect him to be a valuable contributor to the Mavs this season. Players go through challenges from time to time and we try to be (an) organization that fully supports our players when things are challenging for them. We will do the same for Lamar.”

The Mavericks open the second half of the season Tuesday night at home against the Nets.