Regardless of the final result on the coaching search, the New York Knicks need a solid roster for the 2014-15 season. It must be one capable of assimilating the new philosophy to be implemented by Phil Jackson while keeping the team on the mainstream of basketball in order to attract big names in the 2015 free agency class. The problem is they have no money to bring major reinforcements this off-season.
One of the possibilities that should be heavily considered is to not only keep Lamar Odom on the roster, but to actually put him to use. Odom was signed one day before the season ended, just as a complementary tool for eventual transactions in case the price tag on the ones to be traded didn’t match.
What can he offer?
Despite having been out of the game for a year, Odom is still relatively young at 34 years old and, according to reports, has kept himself in shape. That, along with his experience, could be used as one of the cornerstones of the team for next season. Jackson has praised Odom many times for his role in the winning Los Angeles Lakers of the late 2000s, drawing a comparison with him and Scottie Pippen where both learned how to play for the team first and use their presence away from the ball to make the team better.
One other crucial thing Odom can offer is the much-needed leadership in the locker room. In 2013 the Knicks had Jason Kidd, but in 2014 they didn’t have anyone. Carmelo Anthony didn’t step up to take the role of team leader, and that resulted in some pretty terrible performances where focus could have been the difference between holding on to a win or letting it slip away.
So besides having absolute knowledge of the triangle offense and having played for a winning team, Odom is one of the best options the Knicks have to reinforce their roster this offseason. He has the will to work hard and get back in the business with a very modest price tag to come with it.