Although the New York Knicks appeared ready to give Lamar Odom a chance at making a comeback, this plan has not worked out as planned.
The team announced on Friday that he has been waived:
July 11, 2014-NYK President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has waived forward Lamar Odom.— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) July 12, 2014
Odom was first signed by the Knicks last April in a contract that ran through the end of the season and included a non-guaranteed option for the upcoming year. Although he never suited up for New York, the veteran was given this time to prove he was ready to return to the NBA.
However, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News notes that it was a bit of a long shot:
Lamar Odom, who has been working out in Los Angeles, has been released by the Knicks. Phil always viewed him as a project.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) July 12, 2014
Al Iannazzone of Newsday quotes Phil Jackson on the decision:
Phil: "Unfortunately, Lamar was unable to uphold the standards to return as an NBA player.We found it necessary to free up the roster spot."— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) July 12, 2014
The 34-year-old player has not played in the league since the 2012-13 season with the Los Angeles Clippers when he averaged four points and 5.9 rebounds per game. In 14 years in the NBA, Odom averaged 13.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game for the Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.
Unfortunately, it now appears that the forward has seen the end of his career. If he could not make the roster for a front office man in Jackson that knew him well, it is hard to imagine him making a fresh start.
As far as the Knicks are concerned, they will likely use the roster spot on frontcourt depth. Marc Berman of the New York Post points out Cole Aldrich could take that spot:
Lamar Odom situation is up in air as we mentioned before. Aldrich looked good - too good for summer league. Had 9 points, 14 rebounds.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) July 12, 2014
The team will now look to focus on other spots of need to improve a squad that finished 37-45 last season.
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