Mavericks forward Lamar Odom did not return to the team for Monday's practice following the All-Star break. Owner Mark Cuban quickly extinguished rumors Monday night that the 6-foot-10 forward might be considering a buyout or even retirement.
"It hasn't been discussed and we wouldn't do it," Cuban said of a possible buyout. "We think Lamar can be a huge plus for us."
The Mavs have stated that Odom is tending to a family matter. A source on Monday confirmed that Odom left the team on Wednesday and missed that night's game against his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, to be with his ill father, who resides in Los Angeles.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle on Monday did not offer a time table for Odom's return. Dallas begins a stretch of nine games in 12 nights at home tonight against the New Jersey Nets.
Odom is making $8.9 million this season. Only about one-fourth of the $8.2 on his contract next season, the final year of his deal, is guaranteed.