Predicting Lamar Odom'S Impact on the Clippers Next Season

Ehran Khan@@ekhansworldContributor IIIJuly 11, 2012

Lamar Odom will try to return to his old self with the Clippers.
Lamar Odom will try to return to his old self with the Clippers.Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

After spending a truly disastrous season in Dallas, Lamar Odom is set to return to the city he loves, LA. to play for the team that originally drafted him, the Los Angeles Clippers.

What can the Clips expect out of the soon to be 33-year-old forward? 

Well, for starters, he shouldn't be nearly as bad as he was in 2012. Despite his advancing age, Odom is only one year removed from the best season of his career, a campaign good enough to earn him Sixth Man of the Year honors with the Lakers in 2011.

A return to LA should do wonders for Odom's demeanor and state of mind. Perhaps even more importantly, a move back to Hollywood may comfort his wife Khloe and ensure that her reality TV show continues without a hitch. After all, happy wife, happy life, right?

On the other hand, Odom won't reach those 2011 heights, either. Before the start of last season, ESPN's John Hollinger classified Odom as a Fluke Rule player and predicted a regression coming in 2012.

Not even Hollinger's computers could have seen a decline that steep on the horizon, but nevertheless, his prognostication was accurate.

It's fair to assume that Odom can return to the form he displayed from 2009-2010, just before his breakout and subsequent disappearing act.

He'll play a similar role as he did with the Lakers, the rarely seen sixth man who's not a scoring guard.

I'd say a reasonable approximation of his production in 2012 will be 10-11 points, seven to eight rebounds, a couple of assists, and around a steal and a block per contest to go along with superb interior and team defense.

Those numbers likely won't add up to another Sixth Man trophy, but alongside Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, they can make him an essential component to a championship contender.