When you are a team, like the NY Knicks, with limited salary cap space and not in possession of your own 1st rd pick, there aren’t many ways to improve a 35 win team other than to think outside the box, and that’s exactly what the imminent Lamar Odom signing represents.
The new president of basketball operation, the legendary Phil Jackson, will now start to earn the 60M (12M per) by shaping the scouting department, the coaching staff, and most importantly, the roster. It’s anybody’s guess whom Jackson admires on the roster, but one thing is certain, this team as currently constituted cannot return after monumentally underachieving all season.
That’s where the Lamar Odom signing comes in. As mentioned earlier, Phil Jackson will have limited options, and signing Odom now is a way of locking up a multi-skilled player who, if he regains his form, gives the Knicks one of the most talented PF’s in the league coming off the bench. Now we are all well aware of the difficulties Odom has experienced since his Laker days came to an end with the Kardashian reality garbage, and more concerning his rumored drug abuse issues, but my guess is Odom experienced his best days under Jackson and having Phil here as a guiding/calming force could be beneficial to both parties.
Again chances are Phil will attempt this turnaround with people he’s most familiar with, hence the Steve Kerr and Derek Fisher rumors as head coach, who most certainly will bring the famed triangle offense to New York. That’s why taking chances of players such as Lamar Odom and possibly an Andrew Bynum makes sense since they both thrived in that type of offense.
Like Odom, Bynum hasn’t experienced any success since his Laker days came to an end, but he is exactly the type of free agent Phil Jackson will most likely take a chance on while he waits for cap space flexibility in 2015.
Although Odom (back, drugs) and Bynum (knee) are still long shots to ever regain the form that helped the Lakers win NBA championships, both would still represent a major upgrade over borderline NBA caliber talent that inhabited the Knick bench this season.
Jackson’s first shot fired was his hiring of former Bulls scout, Clarence Gaines Jr., who would hold the same position with the Knicks. If that along with the imminent Odom signing is any indication, get ready for many more familiar Bulls and Lakers faces coming to town, and get ready for many more outside the box moves like Odom being made, because only the most delusional Knick fan would want to see the most disappointing Knick team ever remain in place.