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Lamar Odom
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Odom
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks and Phil Jackson are rumored to be leaning toward signing Lamar Odom as soon as before the end of the regular season.

According to ESPN, the Knicks are thinking of inking the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award winner to a deal that also includes a team option for next year and affords the organization the advantage of being able to monitor and evaluate his progress over the entire summer.

Odom’s greatest NBA success came under the direction of Jackson while both were in L.A. with the Lakers. The 34-year-old veteran forward has been out of the league since the 2012-13 season and recently returned to the states after a short-lived and failed run with a Spanish pro team ended with him nursing a back injury.

During his last NBA season, Odom also proved to be far from peak form, averaging just four points and 5.9 rebounds for the Clippers. Still the team seemed interested in resigning him before a summer DUI arrest and ongoing reports of hardcore drug use sapped all interest.

In all, Odom and Jackson spent five years together in L.A., along with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol winning two championships together. Their relationship was seemingly revived earlier this month when the two meet at Madison Square Garden during halftime of a game against the cross-borough Nets.

Should the Knicks quickly move forward and qualify for the playoffs, Odom would even be eligible to join the roster, though most observers stressed the Knicks appear to be viewing the potential move with an eye toward next season.

Odom has played 14 NBA seasons, averaging 13.3 points and 8.4 rebounds. His best season came with Miami in 2003-04 when he averaged 17.1 points and 8.7 rebounds. In being named Sixth Man of the Year for the Lakers in 2010, Odom totaled 14.4 points and 8.7 rebounds.