By just about every measure, Lamar Odom was a complete disaster for the Dallas Mavericks this season. Almost all of his statistics were career lows, he seemed depressed and distracted, and he even forgot how to shoot free-throws (not that he was stellar from the stripe to begin with). After all that, the Lakers could use his services next season.
It's hard to throw out last season completely because good players know how to stay motivated and contribute to their teams, especially veterans. But in reality, Odom has always been a bit of an enigma. The Candyman is prone to mood swings and strange drops in production. With the Lakers, he would go through spurts of indifference and lackadaisical nonchalance. In Dallas, he just simply didn't want to be playing basketball. His 35% field goal percentage was the worst of his career, he shot 59% from the free-throw line, and he stopped attacking the glass. His laziness was evident by his career-average 3-point attempts per game, yet in roughly 60% of the minutes. Odom was flat-out bad. All that said, he would still be a contributor for the Lakers.
If he were to come back to Los Angeles, where he enjoyed significant success and thrived in system dominated by Kobe Bryant, he could be more than useful. With Jordan Hill's contract up in the air, rumors of trades involving either Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol, and a general lack of depth in the frontcourt, Odom would be a great asset. With only one pick in the upcoming draft, the last overall pick (60th), the Lakers aren't going to get any young help this season. With the Lakers in win-now mode, as Bryant continues his quest for another ring before retirement, the Lakers need a proven, veteran player. With the right mindset, Odom can fill that role and more.
Odom was a big reason for the Lakers success in seasons prior to the 2011-2012 season. His versatility, length, and ability to spread the defense made everything easier for the Lakers on both ends of the floor. There aren't many 6'10", left-handed players who can bring the ball up the court. His athleticism is something no other option can match.
Picking up Odom would require having faith in his return to form. He is absolutely past his prime, but his physical abilities are still evident enough to warrant another shot. What is needed is a mental and emotional adjustment. Maybe another stint in Los Angeles, a place where he is comfortable and happy, is exactly what he needs to be successful in the twilight of his career.Back to the Los Angeles Lakers Newsfeed