Lamar Odom and Laboral Kutxa Agree on Contract

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Lamar Odom and Laboral Kutxa Agree on Contract
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Unrestricted free agent Lamar Odom has agreed to terms with the club Laboral Kutxa in Spain. 

Saski Baskonia provided an image on Twitter of Odom with Javier Maroto:

Bing translates Saski Baskonia's tweet to English, "The Mayor welcomes you to the new player Baskonia in the Centre of Gasteiz."

ESPN's Marc Stein was first to report news of the deal:

The 34-year-old veteran power forward has enjoyed an extremely solid 14-year career as one of the most versatile point forwards in the league and is a two-time NBA champion. But after two straight up-and-down seasons, he wasn't quite ready to call it quits.

Brandon Wade/Associated Press

Odom, of course, is coming off a tumultuous offseason in which he was arrested for DUI and then reportedly checked out of rehab just one day after checking in. 

Still, the former Sixth Man of the Year can play an important role for a team overseas, and Laboral Kutxa decided to take a shot. 

While Odom's 2011-12 season with the Dallas Mavericks was completely forgettable, he returned to the Los Angeles Clippers—the team that drafted him with the No. 4 pick in 1999—and improved his rebounding and defense to help contribute in a positive manner. 

According to Basketball-Reference.com, his defensive rating of 99 with the Clips was the second-best of his career, while the team, per 82games.com, was a staggering 9.2 points per 100 possessions better defensively when Odom was on the court versus when he was on the bench.

Lamar Odom Per-Game Stats, 2010-11 to 2012-13
Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
2010-11 14.4 8.7 3.0 0.6 0.7
2011-12 6.6 4.2 1.7 0.4 0.4
2012-13 4.0 5.9 1.7 0.8 0.7

Basketball-Reference.com

 

Simply put, Odom's role has changed from when he was younger. 

He is no longer an efficient offensive weapon who will knock down the three consistently, distribute and handle the ball like a guard or even play 30 minutes per game.

But he is a valuable role player who will crash the glass, play sound defense and provide important veteran leadership in the locker room. Janis Carr of the OC Register believes this could help Odom turn his career around:

There are certainly question marks surrounding Odom after a turbulent and hectic summer, but this is a signing that could pay sneaky dividends for Laboral Kutxa, and ultimately send him back to the NBA.

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