Lamar Odom Trade Rumors: Veteran Wouldn't Be Good Fit for Young Clippers
Lamar Odom was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers with the fourth overall pick back in 1999. He's had an interesting journey since then, but bringing him back wouldn't be a smart move by one of the league's best young teams.
Marc Stein of ESPN reports the Clippers have been researching potential trade opportunities involving Odom as the Dallas Mavericks desperately attempt to move the veteran forward before buying him out for $2.4 million.
While returning to Los Angeles would be an ideal option for Odom after suffering through a dreadful season in Dallas, it doesn't make nearly as much sense for the Clippers. He doesn't match the team's general direction.
Led by the dynamic tandem of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Clippers have placed an emphasis on youth and athleticism. Even though they were swept in the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs, great progress was made toward becoming a Western Conference contender.
Paul is one of the best point guards in the NBA and Griffin has unmatched explosiveness around the rim. When you add in secondary players like Nick Young, Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan, it's hard not to like the Clippers' future.
Another season or two of playing together and building chemistry should do wonders for improving their playoff performance. Adding an older player, whose best seasons are clearly behind him, seems like a step in the wrong direction.
Should the Clippers continue to pursue an Odom deal?
Odom averaged just seven points and four rebounds last season, a surprising drop-off in production after several solid seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. He went from valued role player to basically useless, in what was surely both a physical and mental battle.
At this stage of his career, Odom doesn't have the athletic ability to keep up with Paul, Griffin and the rest of the Clippers. He would be a much better fit with a team like the Lakers, where the offense works at a much slower pace.
The Clippers should stick to the plan of targeting youth. It might not pay the immediate dividends that a trade for Odom has the potential to, but it provides a lot more long-term upside and comes with far less risk than hoping for a bounce-back from Odom.
All told, the Clippers have been able to turn things around by getting younger and more athletic. There's no reason to change that philosophy for a player like Odom.
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