Darius Johnson-Odom Rumors

Johnson-Odom had flown on the Lakers’ charter to Beijing last week, played in their game Tuesday against Golden State, and was scheduled to leave with them after Friday’s rematch against the Warriors. A harsh move by the Lakers, 6,000 miles from Los Angeles? Not quite. Johnson-Odom agreed to terms with a Chinese pro basketball team, signing a contract worth $400,000, according to a person familiar with the situation.
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The Los Angeles Lakers have signed center Eric Boateng and guard Darius Johnson-Odom. Boateng, a free agent center out of Arizona State University, has split time over the last three seasons playing for the Idaho Stampede and the Austin Toros of the NBA’s Development League in addition to playing internationally for the Greek Basket League team Peristeri and the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig in Germany.
The CBA signing period is starting to gain traction, as teams are looking for players for the 2013- 14 CBA season, set to begin in the middle of November. The Liaoning team which finished 5th last season, and lost to Xinjiang in the 1st round, have apparently been speaking with former Los Angeles Lakers guard, Darius Johnson-Odom (187-PG-89, college: Marquette). The high scoring guard from Marquette University, finished up last season in the VTB league with Spartak. Media reports are saying a deal may be reached soon.
Gasol isn’t the only player the Lakers have explored moving, sources near the situation say the Lakers would like to open up a roster spot to add a new player or two so don’t be surprised if guys like Jordan Hill, Devin Ebanks, Darius Morris or Darius Johnson-Odom are moved in exchange for a backup point guard or a second round draft pick in order to open a spot for the Lakers to sign one.
MT: With luxury tax implications I know it can be difficult to keep a full 15 players on the roster, with Darius Johnson-Odom grabbing the last spot? Kupchak: As a later second round draft pick like Johnson-Odom, that’s the lowest number that you can be paid of anybody in the NBA. When you look at our payroll, which is approaching $100 million, as a percentage of payroll it’s really not that much. On the other hand, I don’t expect ownership to expand payroll, and these contracts do have some flexibility to them in the fact that they are not guaranteed. (Sacre and Johnson-Odom) are going to have to continue to perform at a high level, but for the time being, it gives us some roster flexibility going forward.
Both Goudelock and Douglas-Roberts have since been waived; Johnson-Odom remains. “He’s got a long way to go. He’s a good guy, works hard, athletic, explosive,” said Brown. “He’s strong. He’s got some intangibles.” Don’t expect Johnson-Odom to see the court much as a rookie. “He’s a young guy that doesn’t quite have a feel for the NBA game,” said Brown. “It’d be some time before he’s ready.” Time is about all Johnson-Odom can ask for. “Coach Mike talked to me after practice today and said ‘Just keep working.’ There’s not going to be a lot of reps for me in the beginning but I’ve just got to keep working,” said Johnson-Odom. “I’ve just got to wait my turn. It’s just not my time right now and hopefully I’ll get that chance.”
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The Lakers have unofficially decided to go with 15 players to start the season. Teams are required by the league to submit their opening-night rosters on Monday. If non-guaranteed players Darius Johnson-Odom and Robert Sacre weren’t going to make the team, they would have been cut before Sunday to allow for the 48-hour waiver period. Coach Mike Brown indicated after practice that he doesn’t expect the team to drop any additional players before the start of the season. “I don’t think so right now. I’ll wait and see what management says and ownership,” said Brown. “Right now this is where we stand. For how long? I don’t know.” Johnson-Odom and Sacre can be released at any point, until their deal becomes guaranteed in January (or sooner if specifically stipulated in their contracts).
Darius Johnson-Odom will start his pro career in Ukraine with Azovmash Mariupol. Yesterday we anticipated the news and today we got another confirmation about the next arrival of the rookie in Ukraine. Johnson-Odom is still with the Lakers at the camp but in the next hours he will be waived and, as free agent, will move to Azovmash. In the club he is going to replace Nemanja Gordic.
Douglas-Roberts, a third-year player, played in four preseason games and averaged 4.0 points and 0.8 rebounds in 8.3 minutes. “(Douglas-Roberts) played well,” Coach Mike Brown said. “Obviously he didn’t play well enough to really stand out and earn that spot, but all four of the guys that we released … they made our camp competitive. They brought something to the table. That’s what you hope for from guys that you’re bringing to camp, that they can at least make it competitive.”