Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom has signed with Turkish team Besiktas, according to multiple sources. If the team sounds familiar to you, it definitely should be as Odom will join New Jersey Nets star point guard Deron Williams on the Turkey squad.
Odom’s contract, which has an out clause in case the NBA lockout comes to an end during the Turkish season, will be worth $2 million if the Laker stays on the team for the rest of the season, which ends on April 28 when the team plays against Antalya.
Besiktas has been courting several NBA frontcourt players to pair with Williams since Minnesota Timberwolves center Kevin Love declined to make the long journey to Istanbul, Williams’ teammate and dependable Nets center Brook Lopez being a notable example.
However, the Istanbul club preferred Odom due to his much-documented versatility as well as his friendship with the Illinois alumnus.
Love said regarding his decision to not go overseas that he felt it was “not the right decision for me at this time.”
In addition to Love, Lopez, and Odom, Besiktas also attempted, and ultimately failed, to garner the services of free-agent center Nene, Phoenix Suns big man Marcin Gortat, Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum, and underrated Los Angeles Clippers veteran Chris Kaman.
Outside of centers, Besiktas had previous highly publicized negotiations with Los Angeles Laker future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kevin Durant, Chicago Bulls teammates Luol Deng and Omer Asik , Memphis Grizzly Zach Randolph, and Dallas Maverick Tyson Chandler.
As to when the NBA lockout may finally come to a close, the NBA owners and players have resumed negotiations in hopes of coming to a deal by Friday. NBA Commissioner David Stern has said that it would take approximately 30 days from the time a deal is agreed upon to officially begin the season. If a deal is reached by tomorrow, that would mean that a 66 game season would begin on December 25, thereby saving the league’s annual Christmas games and playing a majority of the NBA season. However, the NBA Players Association is reportedly still in the process of decertifying which would all but guarantee the full NBA season would be lost if the process is completed. Long story short, tomorrow is an extremely crucial day towards determining the future of the 2011-12 NBA season.