Sports Out West

Lakers news: Darius Johnson-Odom waived

Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night while the team is still in China decided to waive guard Darius Johnson-Odom, according to a press release by the organization.

The decision to cut Johnson-Odom now puts the Lakers’ roster down to 16 players under contract. The competition for the final roster spot is expected to be between Marcus Landry and the team’s 2013 second draft choice Ryan Kelly due to the fact that Xavier Henry is playing well so far through five games in this preseason averaging 13.6 points in 22.2 minutes per game.

This also marks the second time that Johnson-Odom has been let go by Los Angeles as he was released by team in January. He was a second round selection of the Dallas Mavericks out of the University of Marquette in the 2012 NBA Draft and was traded to the Lakers in exchange for cash consideration.

In the 2012-2013 regular season, he did participate in four games accumulating four rebounds and one assists in a total of six minutes played. He also appeared 13 games for the organization’s D-League team, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, where he averaged 21.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 39.8 minutes per game.

Johnson-Odom was also a participant in the 2013 NBA Summer League games in Orlando and Las Vegas where he played for the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets.

In mid-September, he signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Lakers as a training camp invitee and played sporadically in three preseason games averaging 3.7 points, 0.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 8.2 minutes. Johnson-Odom’s limited minutes in the preseason may have been his downfall but he did provide a couple of highlights that include his impressive dunk in the Oct. 6 game against the Nuggets at the Staples Center and his bounce pass assist to Jodie Meeks in the Oct. 10 game against the Sacramento Kings.

As for the competition for the final opening day roster spot, Kelly on Tuesday played in his first preseason game scoring six points on 2-of-5 shooting from the field and 2-0f-3 from 3-point range in 12 minutes of action. Kelly had missed the first four preseason games as he was still rehabbing his right foot that he had surgery on this past April.

Landry has played in all five preseason games averaging 4.4 points in 13.0 minutes per game on .259 (7-27) shooting from the field and .227 (5-22) from beyond the arc. In Tuesday’s game he had 1 point on 0-for-1 from the field which included 0-for-1 from 3-point range to go along with 1-of-2 from the free throw line.

If Tuesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors is any indication, Kelly may have gained some ground on Landry for the final opening day roster spot as he played more minutes and scored more points, but with three preseason games left on the schedule things can change.

Photo Credit: Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia is a sports journalist from Southern California. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.