The Internet went into a frenzy when ESPN's Ian Begley reported that if Lamar Odom becomes a free agent he would like to play in New York. While as a Knick fan this is great news, without a verdict on Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak's Bird Rights this is just a false hope.
Don't get me wrong, I think Lamar would be a great pick-up if we get the Sixth Man of the Year from the 2010-11 season, but with the type of season he had last year, I'm not sure the Knicks will invest in that.
I do believe that Odom played that way because he didn't want to be with the Dallas Mavericks, but that only hurt his stock.
Hypothetically speaking, let's say the Knicks do win the arbitration case. They would be able to exceed the salary cap to sign both Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak. But would they be willing to break the bank for Lamar, especially considering the distractions (a reality television show with wife Khloe Kardashian) that come with him?
I'm afraid not.
We all know that New York's main concern this offseason is upgrading at the point guard position, and this will take a significant portion of whatever is left in cap space.
If Odom really wants to play in Madison Square Garden he's going to need to take a huge pay cut. Especially with the evidence that will be presented from his last season.
Odom's numbers were terrible last season, averaging 6.6 PPG with 4.2 RPG, but his career averages suggest he's better than that.
In 13 years of playing time, Lamar is averaging 14.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG and 3.9 APG. Having this kind of production coming off an already-deep Knicks bench would make them second-to-none.
Lamar is a very special player; he is the ultimate utility player. He is capable of playing all five positions on the hardwood, and he can play them well.
He has the ball handling and security of the point guard, or you could even pair him up with one to bring the ball up. He has a great shot with excellent form, and his height allows him to grab rebounds over the opposition.
It's no wonder he won sixth man of the year with the Lakers.
When Amare Stoudemire or Carmelo Anthony are on the bench and Odom is filling in for one of the forwards, the tenacious defensive pairing with Tyson Chandler would keep opponents out of the paint and force them to shoot.
When Iman Shumpert returns, hopefully his defense will not be affected much and he could keep opponents from taking good shots. Sounds like a recipe for bringing opponents' scoring down significantly.
I am all for bringing Lamar Odom to New York. With Lamar coming off the bench for the Knicks, they don't sacrifice scoring or defense...so long as they get that Sixth Man of the Year, and not the worthless Odom we saw in Dallas. However, there is no guarantee here.