The Knicks’ first formal order of business under new management may come just before the bell tolls on their disappointing season. Only a single game remains on New York’s schedule, but Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported on Tuesday that the team has made progress on a deal to sign former NBA forward (and former Laker under Phil Jackson) Lamar Odom before its finale.
If the timing of the deal seems curious that’s because it is. A recent back injury forced Odom to duck out of a deal with Baskonia, a team in the Spanish ACB League, and that same ailment would undoubtedly sideline him from the Knicks’ final, meaningless game. There would be no reason at all to sign Odom for that game anyway, making his acquisition at this late date all the more intriguing.
The Knicks’ real motivation: A non-guaranteed second season through which New York would have the option to retain Odom for the 2014-15 campaign. By signing him now the Knicks would effectively sidestep all of the league’s rules regarding offseason contact between teams and free agents as they would relate to Odom. He would be a Knick for all intents and purposes, which in this case would give Jackson and team officials the very important means to gauge Odom’s injury and frame of mind in the months to come.
SOURCE: ROB MAHONEY
Sports Illustrated: PointForward