Top 5 Reasons Lamar Odom Would Bring the Lakers Another Title
Lamar Odom will be looking for a new squad to take a chance on his questioned talents this offseason. What team is more fitting than the Los Angeles Lakers, the team with whom he has won two championships and played 11 of his 13 NBA seasons.
After his dominant reign as the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year in 2011, Odom's production slipped drastically in 2012 with the Dallas Mavericks, after he decided he wanted to leave the Lakers.
Here are five reasons that show that Lamar Odom is not done and would turn the Lakers into serious championship contenders once again.
He's One Year Removed from Being NBA Sixth Man of the Year
In 2011, Odom terrorized defenses coming off the bench in Los Angeles. He was the constant spark plug that the team needed, averaging 14.4 points a game with 8.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists on 53 percent shooting from the field. He stroked it at a more than respectable 38.2 percent clip from three-range in 32.2 minutes per game.
Although Odom has never been the model of a consistent player throughout his career, he had never shot worse than 42 percent from the field in his 13 year career before his disastrous 2012 season with the Mavericks.
To dismiss his 12 solid seasons because of one poor year is ridiculous. It should speak volumes that Odom is still vying for a spot on the 2012 US Olympic squad.
Adds Versatility That the Lakers Don't Have
One of the biggest downfalls of this year's Lakers team was that they did not have the versatility and athleticism to match up with the high-flying teams of the league—particularly the Oklahoma City Thunder, who knocked them out of the playoffs.
Odom would fill that need very quickly. He has shown throughout his career that he can play and guard any position on the floor.
That includes his ability to play as a point guard due to his more than capable ball handling and passing skills and at center, the position he played when he helped lead the USA to the gold medal in the 2010 FIBA World Championships, leading the team in rebounds along the way.
In terms of defensive versatility, Odom was ranked in the top 10 in defensive rating during the 2008 through 2010 seasons. His presence would completely change the team's complexion.
Familiarity with the Roster and City
Lamar Odom has won two championships with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, all of which are still major pieces of the Lakers' puzzle as they try for another title. It would not take long for these players to redevelop chemistry with Odom. That is pivotal for LA as their window to win in the era of the Black Mamba is closing.
Odom's ability and character has endeared him to the city of Los Angeles as well. He's been a fan favorite during his seven years with the Lakers which stemmed from the four years he had already spent in town as a Los Angeles Clipper.
Instant Upgrade at Small Forward
Compared to the likes of Metta World Peace, Matt Barnes and Devin Ebanks, Lamar Odom would be an instant upgrade at the small forward position in LA.
World Peace and Barnes were brought to Los Angeles because of their defensive prowess and ability to hold their own on the offensive side of the floor. Neither of them has held up to their end of the bargain.
The reason Odom was an expendable piece last season was that the Lakers believed in the other players they had on the roster at the small forward spot. Boy, were they wrong.
The Lakers small forward position battle was one of the most talent-lacking starting position battles in all of the NBA last season. None of the aforementioned players showed anything that will guarantee them a starting spot in 2012-2013.
If Odom can prove to be anywhere close to his 2011 form, it would be a much needed improvement to the team's roster.
Brings Veteran Leadership and a Winner's Mentality
I sincerely believe that Lamar Odom is ready to play basketball at a high level again. 2011-12 was a season of mental battles. Odom never really wanted to leave Los Angeles, but he felt as though he wasn't wanted after the attempted Chris Paul trade fell through. He was never mentally or emotionally there for the Dallas Mavericks.
Coming back to the place he loves to call home, Odom would be ready to help bring the Lakers their 17th franchise championship.
Odom is the only NBA player to have ever won the FIBA World Championships and NBA Championship in the same season (2010). He would bring LA his 32 years of age and 13 years of NBA experience to the table, along with a whole new fire and passion for the game.
With Lamar Odom, the Los Angeles Lakers would become a championship contending squad once more.
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