With just hours left of their season remaining, the Knicks signed Lamar Odom for the “rest” of the year. Such a deal also included a team-option for the forward to remain on board next season as well.
Odom, who did not appear in an NBA game all of this past season, made a pro-rated amount of $8,500 for figuratively donning orange and blue for the rest of the day.
By signing the veteran to a potential contract for next season, New York now controls Odom’s fate. President Phil Jackson did the former Laker a favor by signing him either way, but regardless, the Knicks stand to benefit, whether it’s from the local product’s forthcoming impact on the court, or by utilizing his freshly signed deal in a trade later this summer.
And with that, the Phil Jackson era in the Big Apple has officially begun. The thirteen time NBA champion will look to put his own stamp on the team as he attempts to find the recipe for success with the Knicks once again. Odom’s signing may serve as the domino effect for positive things to come as Jackson sets the wheels in motion to bring New York back to greatness.
As fate would have it, Odom is ironically (but currently) “the face” of the 2014-15 New York Knicks at this point in time. He’s guaranteed to have some sort of influence on the team’s future look, be it on the court or as a trading chip in the near future.
The Knicks are full of question marks. Things seemingly begin with Carmelo Anthony. Will he return to New York as a free agent, opting to be loyal in hopes of obtaining further fame and local recognition, all the while earning more money as he does so? Or instead, will the Brooklyn native venture elsewhere, believing he has a better chance of winning a championship?
Needless to say, Anthony’s decision as to whether or not to don orange and blue will seemingly dictate how the rest of the offseason will go. Will Anthony’s potential return help Jackson set the tone for a winning culture, or will the equally as likely departure of the star set the newly hired executive in react-mode the rest of the way?
Aside from Anthony, the likes of Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Andrea Bargnani and perhaps even J.R. Smith, could stand to be traded in the months to come if Jackson can find return value for each one’s contract and/or evident abilities. Given the lack of financial flexibility the Knicks will have until the summer of 2015, it’s safe to say that Jackson will need to get create in his effort to revamp his team.
With that in mind, although both Tim Hardaway Jr. and Iman Shumpert represent promising young studs who may be able to complement any future incoming stars, the potential of each respective prospect qualify them both as intriguing trade chips as well.
As Jackson begins to run the show in New York, the future is in no way, shape, or form a murky one at all. Instead, this is a time to be optimistic.
Still, with so many questions marks currently surrounding the Knicks, the newly acquired Odom can, coincidentally enough, be looked at as an ironic face of the franchise until further notice.