Lamar Odom may yet work his way back into the news for basketball reasons.
And while Los Angeles Lakers fans may still shudder every time they hear that phrase—remember David Stern's explanation for blocking the Chris Paul-to-the-Lakers deal?—this is a positive. Both they and the Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly interested in adding the services of the multi-talented forward.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne, the two L.A.-based teams showed interest in Odom before his life crumbled around him over the summer, and they'll renew that interest if the former Sixth Man of the Year actually looks ready to return to the NBA.
Sources have told the two reporters that Odom is training in hopes of a second-half return and that the Clippers and Lakers have contacted him, curious about more than just his "personal welfare."
It's important to have your priorities in order here.
First, let's hope that Odom gets his life back on track.
He fell off the wagon over the summer, battling drug problems, alleged affairs and homelessness. He even went missing for a few days. Eventually, Odom was arrested and charged with a DUI. You can view a timeline of the events here, via MSN.
Assuming that Odom is healthy, both physically and mentally, he'd be an asset for either of the two Los Angeles teams.
The Clippers could use him. They need another big body in the paint who's at least an adequate defender. With only 14 players on the roster, they could pick him up off the streets without problem.
Meanwhile, the Lakers would have to waive one of their many young players with non-guaranteed contracts in order to sign Odom, but it could be worth the trouble. His unique talents mesh well with the Mike D'Antoni system, and he'd allow for more ball movement than ever before, given the current makeup of the roster.
In the mind of B/R's Dan Favale, the Lakers are a much better fit:
If he intends to make a comeback, then, it might as well be with the Lakers. Although based out of Los Angeles, the Clippers won't likely have minutes for the 34-year-old. Not to mention he didn't fare too well with them last season and doesn't fit into their current run-and-gun style of play.
I'd have to agree with that assessment.
Everything points toward the Lakers being a better destination. They have more of a need and more of a history with the ball-handling forward. Let's not forget that Odom enjoyed the best years of his career while playing alongside Kobe Bryant, who will eventually be back in uniform for the Lake Show.
Whether he ends up signing with either team or bounces around in limbo, it's good to see Odom getting his life back together. At the very least, it's a positive that he's far enough along in his training to draw reported interest.
Here's hoping it continues.
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