Lamar Odom: Miami Heat Only Logical Destination for Former Lakers Star

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IApril 16, 2012

WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 26:  Lamar Odom #7 of the Miami Heat tries to make his way to the basket as Jared Jefferies #1 of the Washington Wizards defends during NBA action December 26, 2003 at the MCI Center in Washington, DC.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the gettyImages licence agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Miami Heat are the only choice for Lamar Odom if he wants to get back to the high level of play we saw from him last season. 

Odom is a uniquely talented big man that has shown the ability to dominate games. He has also shown that he can be a non-factor, and that is exactly why he will be looking for a new team next year. 

The Dallas Mavericks placed Odom on the inactive list, which ended his season, and in all likelihood ended his brief career as a Maverick. 

Odom is a player that flourishes when he is comfortable in his surroundings and has a clearly-defined role. These are two things he did not have with the Mavericks. It is something that he would have with the Heat. 

The possibility exists that he could have these things with the Lakers. He could have the same role that he thrived in before he left. The problem here is the emotional baggage he would carry about the Lakers trading him away would haunt him. Odom is not the kind of guy that can excel with that kind of thing hanging over his head. 


Why the Heat Are the Only Choice

While the Heat also traded LO away, it was under far different circumstances. He had never won a championship there, and he was traded for one of the all-time greats in Shaquille O'Neal

And he would definitely have a role. The Heat could desperately use some depth and scoring punch to their bench. Odom could fill that role, just like he did with the Lakers. 

He would also have great value when running with the starters. If the Heat wanted to go with a fast lineup, they could switch Chris Bosh to center and put LO in at power forward. 

This is not optimal for Bosh, but it would make the Heat a matchup nightmare when they had the ball. 

With Odom on the floor in this role, the Heat would have four players capable of bringing the ball up the floor. They would be absolutely unstoppable on fast breaks. 

Odom would also give the Heat a nice power forward option when Bosh is doing one of his disappearing acts. Odom is an underrated defender and a good rebounder. This is an ideal fit for the Heat and Odom.