Lamar Odom Rumors: NY Knicks Would Be Making Huge Mistake by Adding Odom

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IMay 24, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 16:  Lamar Odom #7 of the Dallas Mavericks warms up for the game with the Los Angeles Lakers in his first game at Staples Center after being traded by the Lakers, on January 16, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  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 Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks forward Lamar Odom recently told ESPN New York's Ian Begley that the New York Knicks are No. 1 on his list of teams to play for next season.

While it's nice that he wants to come to the Big Apple, Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald needs to shoot this idea down before it ever gets off the table.

If you were guaranteed to get the Odom that was the Sixth Man of the Year for the Los Angeles Lakers, it may make some sense, but there's no guarantee that's the player the Knicks would be getting.

Odom's stint in Dallas was heavy on drama and very light on production. He averaged career lows of 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per night.

He was disruptive to the point that the Mavs kept him on the inactive list for the final nine games of the regular season and the postseason.

Even for the veteran's minimum, that's something the Knicks don't need in their locker room.

Odom had a rough season filled with off-court problems that may have affected his play, but he's too much of a risk coming off the season he did.

If the Knicks were assured of getting the guy who was a very good interior scorer and rebounder in Los Angeles, where he averaged 14.4 points and 8.6 rebounds during the 2010-11 season, I would be all for it. In that form, Odom would be a huge addition to the Knicks' second unit.

However, despite the gamble involved, my biggest concern is how this will work financially.

If Grunwald were to pursue Odom, who made over $8 million last season, signing him for anything more than the veteran's minimum wouldn't make sense. While Odom would certainly be taking a pay cut this season, would he be willing to sign for the minimum?

There are other pressing needs for the Knicks right now, including a veteran point guard, so Grunwald can't consider using any portion of the $5 million mid-level exception on Odom.

With the Knicks' current cap situation, the MLE will have to be saved to either keep Jeremy Lin or pursue a veteran guard. Even if the arbitration ruling in mid-June allows the Knicks to sign Lin without having to use their MLE, it will still have to be used to sign another point guard.

What it comes down to is a matter of priorities and spending the little money they have available wisely.

Rolling the dice on Odom is something that shouldn't be high on Grunwald's to-do list.