The current deadline for a decision to be made on veteran forward Lamar Odom for the Dallas Mavericks is June 29. Before that that date, the Mavs will attempt to trade the former Sixth Man of the Year or buyout his contract for $2.4 million.
Apparently, trading Odom won’t be an easy proposition for the Mavs. This isn’t much of a surprise after Odom’s meltdown during the 2011-12 NBA season, but there may be some light at the end of the tunnel for Dallas with the Los Angeles Lakers showing interest in reacquiring the forward.
After learning of Odom’s interest of returning to the Lakers, the consensus was that he’d simply be bought out by the Mavs and would be able to sign with Los Angeles as a free agent. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible until Dec. 11 (date of the trade in 2011) due to the rules in the new CBA.
Even though the Lakers and Odom are interested in a reunion for the 2012-13 NBA season, the two-time NBA champion can’t sign or be traded to Los Angeles over the summer. The new CBA rules dictate that Odom can’t return to the same team that traded him in the same calendar year. This means a trade or free agent signing is out of the question for the time being.
Fortunately, a loophole may have been found by David Lord and Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com:
“Dallasbasketball.com has learned that the Mavs are working on taking a significant step that would allow Odom’s return to the Lakers this summer, opening up multiple avenues.
A highly-placed league insider tells us the Mavs are already pursuing a revision to Odom’s contract that would move his deadline to buy out his last year at $2.4 million from June 29, 2012 to some time in July, a contractual change that is permitted by the league with mutual agreement from both player and team.”
There’s a good chance that Odom will give his consent for the extended deadline. This extension will give Odom a better chance of retaining the $8.2 million he’s owed next season. Otherwise, he’d have to settle for the $2.4 million buyout and a prorated veteran’s minimum next season if he signs with the Lakers after Dec. 11.
The one thing that might prevent the Lakers being on board with this trade to reacquire Odom from the Mavs is the fact the team is in save-money-mode. With the luxury tax still a problem that the team wants to address, a trade for Odom might be something they’d shy away from. A third team might have to be involved in order to make salaries match.