The Mavericks and Odom spent Easter Sunday working out a separation that frees the struggling Odom to leave the team immediately without actually being released, Stein is reporting this morning.
“The Mavericks and I have mutually agreed that it’s in the best interest of both parties for me to step away from the team,” Odom said in a statement to ESPN.com. “I’m sorry that things didn’t work out better for both of us, but I wish the Mavs’ organization, my teammates and Dallas fans nothing but continued success in the defense of their championship.”
So ends a rocky season that began shortly after the lockout ended when Odom learned that the Lakers had attempted to trade him to the New Orleans Hornets in the original Chris Paul trade that was vetoed by NBA commissioner David Stern. Odom reacted by demanding out of Los Angeles, and the Lakers granted his wish by sending him to the Mavericks for a future first-round draft pick.
But Odom’s productive games were few and far between, and his extended absence from the team last month forced him to issue a public apology.
“Odom’s departure will be immediate and that the Mavericks intend to simply list him as inactive for the rest of the season instead of outright releasing him, leaving open the possibility that they could still trade him after the season in conjunction with the draft,” Stein wrote. “Any team that has Odom on its roster as of June 29 must buy him out by that date for $2.4 million or otherwise accept responsibility for the full $8.2 million that Odom is scheduled to earn in 2012-13.”
For more from Stein, click over to ESPNDallas.com.