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Lamar Odom should play overseas

November 23, 2011 |  9:15 am

With the NBA lockout continuing, Lamar Odom should play overseas
Amid an uncertain off-season, Lakers forward Lamar Odom played overseas last year, arrived in training camp in the best of shape and churned out his most consistent effort of his NBA career.

Consider that and his stint with Team USA in the FIBA World Championships when predicting what would happen if he accepted a bid to play with the Turkish basketball team Besiktas. It's not crucial that Odom play with Besiktas, as's Marc Stein reported the Lakers' forward has considered doing. It's more important that Odom plays somewhere, should the NBA lockout continue.

Measure the value of such a stint any way you like.

PHOTOS: Lamar Odom through the years

There's the economic security: Odom has a two-year, $17-million contract remaining with the Lakers, but he only has one guaranteed season, in 2011-2012, worth $8.9 million. The Lakers have a $8.2-million option for the 2012-2013 campaign. Only $2.4 million of that option is guaranteed, meaning it's possible Odom could become a free agent in 2012. 

There's the basketball itself: Odom proved in his stint with Team USA that he thrives under a compacted schedule and needs structure to stay focused. He turned a corner in his preparation last season, but a prolonged off-season increases the likelihood he hasn't remained as steady to his craft as he should. Playing on an organized team would allow him to go through training camp rigors before work with the Lakers begins.

And of course there's the branding opportunities: The Kardashians, for better or worse, haven't exactly taken over the world -- yet. So there's no telling what promotional opportunities for the show are available in Istanbul or another foreign locale. It's debatable whether that's a good or a bad thing for the general public ... OK, it's mostly bad. 

But as far as an overseas gig itself, it's a win-win situation for Odom. Now he just needs to sign on the dotted line.


Lamar Odom may play in Europe in 2012

Turkish team reportedly pursuing Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom should make 2012 U.S. Olympic team

-- Mark Medina

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Photo: Lamar Odom. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times