Lakers Rumors: LA Would Be Moving in Wrong Direction by Signing Lamar Odom

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2013

A reunion with Odom is not in the Lakers' best interest.
A reunion with Odom is not in the Lakers' best interest.Jeff Gross/Getty Images

This NBA offseason hasn't gone the way the Los Angeles Lakers had hoped, but the team must avoid chasing Lamar Odom to try to add depth to its roster.

Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register, and Bleacher Report, reported that the two sides may be heading for a reunion.

It's an interesting idea, but the Lakers are entering a crucial season. With Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of reporting that the team is preparing to pursue superstar free agents next offseason, Los Angeles needs to make smart signings right now.

Dwight Howard signed with the Houston Rockets, Metta World Peace was amnestied and Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles tendon near the end of last season. This season's team will look a lot different than the 2012-2013 Lakers.

With so much turmoil recently, adding Odom to the roster wouldn't be a great addition.

The Lakers have a lineup filled with aging stars. Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash are all past their prime. They may still have big seasons, but they are not quite what they used to be.

It would not be a good idea to doubt Bryant and his ability to come back from an injury. Whether he is ready for the start of the season or misses some games, he's going to be a star. After 17 seasons in the league, it's tough to envision the Lakers not having Bryant in the lineup when the season starts.

Assuming Bryant is ready to play, the Lakers will still have a chance to contend this season.

Bryant averaged over 27 points and six assists per game last year (the latter matched a career high). His 5.6 rebounds per game were highest he had achieved in over five years.

With a core of Bryant, Nash and Gasol, Los Angeles still has enough stars to win games.

The Lakers have made many roster moves in order to bring in cheaper pieces to help its core. Chris Kaman, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Farmar and Nick Young will make the Lakers more athletic.

Losing Howard will be tough to overcome, but Kaman is a good fit for the current roster. Los Angeles needed help shooting the ball, so getting scorers was a priority.

Farmar has shot 40 percent from three-point range in his career, and Johnson and Young both have the ability to score while playing either guard or forward.

Adding a veteran forward who hasn't played much in the last two seasons wouldn't be a good move for the Lakers.

Odom played for the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers in the last two years, but he didn't make much of an impact for either team. He averaged only about 20 minutes per game in the last two years, which is partially because of his lack of production.

The last two seasons are the only two times in which he has shot below 40 percent from the floor, and they were the only two seasons he has shot below 60 percent from the line.

His lack of minutes will impact his rebounding numbers, but he did see an improvement in those totals after he signed with the Clippers. He averaged 5.9 boards per game, but the Lakers should be looking for more athletic players.

The Lakers have 12 players on their roster (assuming Ryan Kelly signs), so there isn't much room for aging role players.

The team needs to see what it has in its newer acquisitions rather than sign a player who won't be part of the team's future.

Los Angeles is in a difficult spot. Many contracts will expire after this season, so the team is trying to find a way to lure stars to the Staples Center next offseason. Tanking wouldn't help the team's cause, so a healthy Bryant and productive role players are the keys to this season.

Odom has a lot of wear and tear on him at this point in his career, and it has affected his play. The Lakers are right to be cautious about a possible reunion.

Even though the forward helped bring two championships to Los Angeles, the Lakers need to look for other options.


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