According to ESPN, the New York Knicks and Lamar Odom are nearing a deal.
The New York Knicks were recently eliminated from the playoff picture, and the franchise already seems to be moving towards its offseason plan.
No surprise here.
The new man in charge is nobody other than the legendary Phil Jackson, who has high hopes of turning the Knicks franchise around, and as we all know, he definitely has the basketball savvy to pull off some great moves.
Lamar Odom is a start, and Phil isn't unfamiliar with the forward.
They won two back-to-back championships together in 2009-10 and 2010-2011 as coach and player. The pair had a great relationship on and off the court until the Lakers dealt Odom to the Mavericks, who had just defeated the Lakers in the playoffs in route to winning the title over the Miami Heat.
His departure was the unofficial beginning of the end for Odom's career, as he has never been the same since his glory days with the Lakers.
After fairly brief stints with the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers in recent years, Odom finds himself without a team.
With all due respect to Odom, he isn't physically, nor mentally, the same player he was back with the Lakers. He has statistically regressed, and he's looked less agile on the court ever since.
But it is his mental state of mind that has truly haunted him.
He was always a sensitive person, often taking criticism too harshly instead of simply dismissing it or taking it on the chin. And when he went to Dallas, he mentally broke down and clearly missed being a member of the Lakers' roster. For this reason alone, he is closer to a undesirable asset than a potential contributor for any roster.
Well, if there's anyone who is willing to gamble on Odom at this point in time, it's Phil Jackson. And rightfully so.
Jackson is capable of capturing the Lamar Odom of old, and although he won't be doing it from the sidelines anymore, he surely will have a positive impact on Odom's play, just as he did only a few short years ago.
Jackson is one of the few who has proven to connect with Odom on a personal level. If there's any opportunity for Odom to revamp his career, it's with Phil and the New York Knicks.
And the move could have benefits for the Knicks themselves.
The Knicks need someone who can create his own shot. Check. They need someone who has tons of versatility. Check. They need a player with championship pedigree. Check. They need someone with length. Check.
They need someone with talent. Check double-plus.
Lamar Odom contributes all of these things, and more. Although he isn't the player he used to be, if he is in the right state of mind and performs at the level he is easily still capable of, which may require a little bit of help from Phil Jackson, both him and the Knicks will benefit tremendously.
This will surely be considered a small move. But it is one that has a great potential payoff for both sides of the deal.