It has been a tough go for Lamar Odom since the end of the 2011 season with the Lakers. After the death of his cousin, Odom considered retirement. Those thoughts may have been amplified by the trade that sent him to the Dallas Mavericks. Since arriving in Dallas, Odom has under achieved this season averaging under eight points a game and less than five boards. That is half the production Odom has put up in his 12 previous seasons in which he averaged over 14 points and just under nine rebounds. In his career Odom has averaged over 35 minutes a game but through the first half of this season with Dallas, Odom’s minutes have shrunk to less than 22 per game.
Now, Odom has missed the Mavericks last three games due to “personal reasons”. Lamar was back in Los Angeles where he has spent most of his NBA career with the Clippers and Lakers to be with his sick father last week. He is now back in Dallas and looking at making a return to action soon. This despite rumors of a buyout that were recently squashed by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban who said, “We haven’t discussed a buyout and we wouldn’t do a buyout.” Cuban later fired off an email to ESPN Dallas that read, “No chance that happens at all. We want to help Lamar work through any personal issues and expect him to be a valuable contributor to the Mavs this season. Players go through challenges from time to time and we try to be (an) organization that fully supports our players when things are challenging for them. We will do the same for Lamar.”
Evidently, that support will begin with a one game stint up in Frisco with the Texas Legends, the Mavericks NBDL team. From there, Cuban and the Mavericks hope to have Odom back on the floor at the AAC. When that time will come is still up in the air. The Mavericks play three games in four days beginning tomorrow in New Orleans. Dallas would love to have Odom back as soon as Saturday when they host the Utah Jazz. That may be some wishful thinking though. Something stinks here, and the situation really appears to still be a wait and see. If that is the case, it is not good news for the Mavs. Even though Dirk Nowitski has proven to be a superman his entire career when it comes to injury. Dirk is now day-to-day after suffering back spasms and leaving Wednesday’s game against Memphis and did not return. With Odom brought in to serve as a back up for Dirk, this is when the Mavericks need him most. The smart money is on Dirk being back in the lineup before Odom, leaving the Mavericks shorthanded in the front court. With this crazy NBA season forcing teams to play four to five games a week it must be all hands on deck. Two of those hands must be Odom’s soon.