NBA Rumors: Lamar Odom Would Be a Distraction for New York Knicks

Alex KayCorrespondent IMay 24, 2012

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 2: Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles on court against the New York Knicks on February 2, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Lamar Odom hasn't had his finest year, and the last thing the New York Knicks need right now is to take a gamble on such a hit-or-miss player.

Ian Begley of ESPN New York is reporting that the embattled forward is interested in returning to his hometown this summer and wants to play for New York in an attempt to revitalize his career.

The Knicks brass needs to make sure the feelings aren’t mutual and stay as far away from the potential chemistry-killing forward as possible.

While his 6’10”, 230-pound frame and career averages of 14.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 3.9 APG and 0.9 BPG/SPG are hard to ignore, what he did with the Dallas Mavericks last season cannot be forgotten.

Odom missed numerous games for personal reasons and clashed time and time again with team owner Mark Cuban. Eventually, the franchise decided to just deactivate him from the active roster.

It’s highly unlikely that the Mavs front office will be able to find a taker for the former Sixth Man of the Year and will have to buy him out for $2.4 million before June 29 or pay the full $8.2 million for 2012-13.

Even if Odom becomes a free agent looking for a veteran's minimum contract, the Knicks would not be an ideal landing spot for the Queens native.

Odom is approaching his 33rd birthday and going into his 14th season in the league. His off-court drama would be magnified in the Big Apple, and unsuccessful play in the Garden would be brutally criticized by the media.

The Knicks have enough chemistry issues to sort through and still have to figure out if they will be keeping Jeremy Lin to pair with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. The last thing they need is someone who wants to hog the spotlight like Odom coming in.

New York has the pieces in place to contend for a championship; it just needs to work on gelling into a cohesive unit. Acquiring Odom would be like throwing a wrench into the whole machine and starting from scratch.