4 Reasons Los Angeles Lakers Must Bring Back Lamar Odom
This year, Odom's averaging 6.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game while shooting 35.3 percent with the Dallas Mavericks.
It doesn't take the keenest NBA analyst to realize that Lamar Odom is a much better fit with the Lakers.
For the sake of Odom, a return to the Lakers is what his career desperately needs. It's just not working with the Mavericks. It hasn't all year and we're now into April.
A return to the Lake Show would not only benefit Odom, but would also greatly spark the Lakers. Their current roster is growing more and more limited, and they need a veteran presence to create more versatility and depth.
Odom could provide this and more. He's likely going to be a free agent in 2012, as he possesses a team option with the Mavs for around $8 million. It's highly unlikely Dallas accepts this option after Odom's poor play this season.
Therefore, the Lakers would be wise to scoop him up. Here are four reason why the Lakers must bring back L.O. come the summer.
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The Lakers currently possess four quality players in Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and newcomer Ramon Sessions.
After that? Um...I'm speechless.
The Lakers' roster takes a sharp decline after their top four. Metta World Peace is a shell of the player he once was, Derek Fisher is now on the rival Thunder and guys like Steve Blake, Josh McRoberts and Matt Barnes are average at best.
The Lakers could genuinely use a return of Odom to give them more depth and punch off the bench. He's done this in the past and since he's only 32, there's still reason to think he can do this in the future.
A Bargain Buy
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After Odom's tumultuous season in Dallas (for the record, he could still redeem himself with a remarkable stretch run and potent playoff performance, but that's unlikely), he cannot expect to receive a lucrative contract in the offseason.
Quite frankly, there aren't going to be many teams willing to spend on Odom since he performed so poorly in Big D.
Therefore, the Lakers could very likely lure Odom for a relatively cheap price. He could prove to be quite the bargain buy if he returns to the same form that helped the Lakers win two championships in 2009 and 2010.
To Appease Kobe Bryant
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The Lakers have now allowed two of Kobe's longtime teammates and friends, Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher, to leave the team and they've both landed on rival opponents.
Bryant has recently stood up for Odom and it's clear there's still a respect and connection there. Based on these signs, it seems evident that Kobe would be appeased by a return of Odom and would welcome him back with open arms.
This move would certainly seem to make "the Black Mamba" happy, and that's surely a good thing for the Lakers.
Another Championship Run
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While anything can happen in the playoffs, the Lakers are currently not giving their fans promising signs about hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy in 2011.
After getting spanked on their home floor by emerging Oklahoma City last week, it certainly appears as if the tables have turned. The Thunder, once too young and immature to beat L.A., now appear to be too explosive and potent for the aging Lakers.
For the Lakers to hang with young, rising squads, they're going to have to fill the voids on the roster. They're going to need more depth and versatility. While Odom shouldn't be the only piece they add to fortify their roster, he would be a very helpful one who could help them make another championship run.
Based on all of this analysis, the better question appears to be, "why shouldn't the Lakers bring Odom back?"
There aren't any red flags for either Odom or the Lakers in speculating his return to L.A. Truthfully, all indications reveal this to be a grand decision for both parties.