A meeting between Lamar Odom and the Clippers on Friday could lead to a contract offer for the free-agent forward, according to multiple reports.
Yahoo! Sports reports that Odom "appeared to be in good shape" and that Clippers players "were under the impression he was signing soon" following a two-hour meeting with coach Doc Rivers and other front office members.
ESPN.com reports that the two sides share "serious interest" while quoting a source who said he would be "surprised if [a deal] didn't happen."
L.A. currently has 14 players under contract, leaving one open roster spot to facilitate a signing, but they are currently just above the league's luxury tax line of $71.7 million.
The 34-year-old Odom is an unrestricted free agent after spending last season with the Clippers, with whom he averaged a career-low four points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.7 minutes per game. Odom has spent 12 of his 14 NBA seasons in Los Angeles, including five years with the Clippers and seven years with the Lakers, with whom he won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.
A skilled, versatile forward who was named 2011 Sixth Man of the Year has seen his career go off the rails in recent years. In December 2011, the Lakers traded him to the Mavericks after reports of a dispute with management. Odom played just 50 games in Dallas before he was essentially told to remain home. The Mavericks traded him to the Clippers last summer, and while he did appear in all 82 games last season, his production was a fraction of what he offered during the championship seasons with the Lakers.
The Clippers hold title aspirations and are off to a 6-3 start despite ranking No. 28 in defensive efficiency. The Point Forward has asserted for more than a year that L.A. needs to take a serious look at its frontcourt depth, but it's unclear how effective Odom can be at this point in his career.
The last few months have seen Odom's name pop up in the gossip headlines and the crime blotter more often than the sports page.
Odom was arrested in August on DUI charges for allegedly weaving in and out of traffic in a white Mercedes. After refusing to take chemical tests, he was released on bail shortly after the arrest. He pleaded not guilty to DUI charges in October.
ESPN.com reported in August that Odom’s friends were “trying to get him help for an unspecified drug problem” in light of reports that suggested he was “missing” and having marital problems. He briefly entered a rehabilitation center, according to reports, and he vented in detail last month after his father, Joe, discussed Odom's wife, reality television star Khloe Kardashian Odom, and her family.
In an emotional message posted to Twitter, Odom admitted that he was experiencing a "dark time," while also taking his "absent" father to task for passing on his "demons" and making disparaging comments about his wife and her family. Odom has previously stated that his father is a "heroin addict."
Joe Odom told RadarOnline.com that the Kardashians "cursed" and "brought down" Lamar and suggested that a divorce would be the "best thing" for his son because Khloe Kardashian Odom is "controlling."
Also in September, Lamar Odom denied have a drug problem or needing professional help in a brief video interview with TMZSports.com. He also said that he would "hopefully" play during the 2013-14 season.Shortly after Odom's off-court issues first came to light, the Clippers signed forward Antawn Jamison to a one-year contract.