Odom has been away from the team for more than a week to deal with personal issues related to his family. The rehab assignment will be used to get the forward back into game shape before likely returning to the Mavericks lineup.
The Mavs have officially assigned Lamar Odom to the D-League’s Texas Legends.
— Earl K. Sneed (@EKS_MavsNBA) March 2, 2012
What It Means
The entire situation has been odd. Ever since Odom missed the team’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 22, the updates on his status have been few and far between. There was even a report about buying out his contract, which the Mavericks said they had no interest in doing.
Whatever personal issues Odom was attempting to work out for the past week have apparently been resolved. Sending him down for a quick stint in the D-League will allow him to get his legs back under him while also making sure he’s completely focused on returning.
Dallas has missed Odom’s presence, with the injuries beginning to mount. Dirk Nowitzki is fighting through a back injury, and Delonte West continues to sit out with a finger problem. Getting Odom back would provide some much-needed depth.
What Happens Next?
The Legends’ next game is against the Austin Toros on Saturday night. Odom will probably play just enough minutes to where he feels comfortable with his form before making his return to the Mavericks, who would next play on Monday.
Upon returning to the Mavs, the team will be expecting his production to increase. He was averaging just eight points in 21 minutes before the unexpected departure. It was undoubtedly the worst basketball the veteran had played in his career.
He hasn’t seemed like himself since coming over from the Lakers in the offseason, so maybe a week away simply allowed him to clear his head. He’s proven to be a valuable contributor in the past, and that’s what Dallas will be hoping for after the weekend.
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