Mar 26, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Lamar Odom prior to the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Jackson: Lamar Odom a ‘pretty good risk/reward situation’


Not only does New York Knicks’ president Phil Jackson want to hire a head coach he is familiar with, he clearly wants to add players he is familiar with as well.

Back in April, the Knicks signed Lamar Odom. That raised a few eye brows because of Odom’s recent problems with drugs, his marriage and his lack of production on the court.  However, Jackson believes signing Odom, who played for him with the Los Angeles Lakers, was a good risk to take (via Ian Begley of ESPN New York).

“We know he’s a really good basketball player,” Jackson said. “If he wants to put himself back together in a basketball life, he’s got a chance to do this by having a whole summer to work at it and get himself back in basketball condition so he can play. He’s told me that’s what he wanted to do. Having a relationship with him, I figure this is a pretty good risk/reward situation for us.”

The Knicks signed Odom on the final day of the regular season as Jackson’s first personnel move. According to a league source, Odom’s deal contains a nonguaranteed option for next season. It will be up to the Knicks to exercise the option.

This gives the team an opportunity to work Odom out and determine his fitness before committing to him for the 2014-15 season.

Since Odom’s contract isn’t guaranteed, the Knicks can simply release Odom without having to worry about his salary counting against the salary cap.

Odom has played for four teams over his NBA career, averaging 13.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He is set to join the Knicks by the end of the month.

Tags: Lamar Odom New York Knicks Phil Jackson