Lamar Odom’s brief career with the Dallas Mavericks has come to an end.
ESPN.com reporter Marc Stein reported that Odom and the Mavericks that will allow the disgruntled power forward to leave the team without being released.
“The Mavericks and I have mutually agreed that it’s in the best interest of both parties for me to step away from the team,” Odom said in a statement to ESPN.com.
“I’m sorry that things didn’t work out better for both of us, but I wish the Mavs’ organization, my teammates and Dallas fans nothing but continued success in the defense of their championship.”
After the loss of key components like Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea from their 2011 NBA championship team, Odom was thought to provide some inside muscle for the Mavericks in the defense of their title when he was acquired shortly before the season from the Los Angeles Lakers.
But the 32-year-old Odom has struggled through a miserable season, averaging career-low totals of 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game as he has shot 35.2 percent from the field in 50 games.
Sources told ESPN that Odom’s departure will be immediate and that the Mavericks intend to simply list him as inactive for the rest of the season instead of outright releasing him, leaving open the possibility that they could still trade him after the season in conjunction with the draft.
Any team that has Odom on its roster as of June 29 must buy him out by that date for $2.4 million or otherwise accept responsibility for the full $8.2 million that Odom is scheduled to earn in 2012-13.
The Mavericks currently are the No. 7 team in the Western Conference with nine games remaining. They still face a big challenge of making the playoffs with six of their last nine games on the road, including a brutal stretch of four road games in five days later this week.
Getting rid of Odom rids them of an off-the-court headache. And it should allow them to be more unified as they approach the tough finish.
But it will be interesting to see if the Mavericks have enough depth inside to match their playoff run from their championship season.
What do you think Spurs Nation? Are the Mavericks better off without Odom?