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:
ESPN's Marc Stein was first to report news of the deal:
Props to my little bro @IAmDPick ... who I'm pretty sure was first to put out there Lamar Odom in talks w/Laboral Kutxa in Spain. Well ...— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 18, 2014
It's true. Just told @RealLamarOdom has a deal in principal with aforementioned Spanish club and intends to play rest of season in Espana— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 18, 2014
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.
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.
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:
Let's hope Lamar Odom is serious about basketball and re-invents himself in Spain.— janis carr (@janiscarr) February 18, 2014
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.