According to David Lord and Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com, a high-ranking team insider found that the team is looking into a revision in the maligned forward’s contract that would move the buyout deadline (worth $2.4 million) from June 29 to an undisclosed date in July. Odom would have to consent to this change in order for it to happen.
This is extremely important, because a league rule dictates that a player cannot be traded back to the same team that he was originally dealt from during the same season. The 2011-12 season ends on June 30, one day after the Mavs—as of right now—would have to either buy out Odom’s contract or pay him the full $8.2 million for the upcoming year.
If the two parties agree to the revision, the Mavericks would be free to trade Odom back to the Los Angeles Lakers, who are desperate to fix their roster this summer and would likely welcome the former Sixth Man of the Year back with open arms.
This trade, which may require a third party to match salary, would be mutually beneficial for all parties.
Odom clearly did not pan out with the Mavs, and they ended up deactivating him before the regular season even ended. The man was playing so poor that owner Mark Cuban called it “addition by subtraction.” The Lakers—who are over the cap—would like to bring a key bench player back into the fold, and doing so via trade means they could save their mid-level exception for another free agent.
Odom also makes out great, pulling in his full salary for the season rather than a quarter of it or so after a buyout.
It’ll be interesting to see if Los Angeles is willing to absorb their former star’s contract, or if they feel that he is washed up as well. They also have the potential option of waiting until December—when Odom is eligible to re-sign with the Lakers—to pick him up at a discount.
One thing is certain, however: Dallas will definitely trade Odom for pennies on the dollar just to avoid paying him another cent.