Lamar Odom not back with the Mavs

Via ESPN Dallas' Jeff Caplan, Lamar Odom, who didn't play Wednesday when the Lakers beat the Mavs in Dallas, did not report back to the team Monday.Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle gave no timetable for Odom's return.

"Lamar is not here today," he said Monday. "He is still dealing with a family matter and the hope is he'll join us soon, and we'll update you when there's an update."

It's a stone cold lock the Mavs won't bring back Odom next season, but there has even been some water cooler/sports talk radio speculation they might even buy him out this year. Carlisle gave no indication that was the case, but that the idea sounds plausible indicates just how much Odom has struggled. I suspect Dallas holds on to him, because a) Mark Cuban would owe Odom money anyway, b) he might land on a rival, and c) the potential good he'd do for the Mavs if he improves is too valuable. They've waited this long, and might as well see it through.

If Dallas did pull the trigger on a buyout, talk of a return to Los Angeles would be rampant, but given Odom left town I'd be surprised if the Lakers showed much interest.

They need help, but I suspect that ship has sailed.