The Knicks signed Lamar Odom to a one-year deal with a team option at the end of the regular season. Essentially, they’ll have him under their watch — or Phil Jackson’s watch, more specifically — all summer, and will decide whether or not to keep him later on. Odom is slowly working his way back into shape, and is expected to join the team in the next few weeks. From ESPN.com:
Odom has been in Los Angeles working out and undergoing physical therapy to strengthen his back, the source said. Odom’s short stint playing in Spain earlier this season ended due to a back injury.
Phil Jackson said earlier this month he expected Odom to be at the Knicks’ facility at some point over the past week. It is unclear why Odom was instead in Los Angeles, but he should be working out at the practice facility by the last week in June.
At that point, the Knicks training staff and front office will get a chance to work with Odom and see firsthand what the 34-year-old can bring to the floor.
Jackson explained earlier this month his rationale for signing Odom, whom he coached for five seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“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.”