While the Lakers recover from their “close but no cigar” championship season, many changes need to be made to push them over that hump.
Like many others who watched the NBA Finals, it was obvious to me that the Lakers did not have a solid defense. This is quite ironic considering the team has Kobe Bryant, a 2008 All-Defensive first-team guard, and not one but two seven-footers on the team.
With Andrew Bynum expected to come back next season, the team will have an imposing three seven-footers in the front court.
According to the Miami Herald, there was said to be an offer that sent Lamar Odom and Chris Mihm to the Heat for Shawn Marion. Marion might not be the seven-footer that Odom is, but he would bring in the talent that the Lakers need.
Odom was inconsistent throughout the playoffs. He would go on amazing scoring runs and be active in the offense, like in the first quarter of Game Four. Other times, nobody noticed he was on the court, i.e. the rest of Game Four.
Marion has always played well. During his days in Phoenix and Miami, he played well no matter who was on his team. When Amare Stoudemire went down in 2005, Marion boosted his numbers despite defenses who targeted him.
Marion shot a higher three-point percentage over the last three years, including his stint with Phoenix where he took roughly 300 attempts (about four per game). Odom only shot about 180 attempts per season (two per game).
Marion is a more dependable scoring option than Odom.
Defensively, Odom has a bigger wingspan. In theory, this would make him the better defensive player. Not quite the case, as Odom has slow feet. He relies on his arms so much that quicker players can go right past him.
Marion, on the other hand, uses every part of his body to make the crucial stop. He isn’t the fastest player on the court, but he puts himself in a good position to stop his defender.
The Lakers can just look to last year’s champion, the Boston Celtics, for advice. The right combination of proven veterans brings home the title.
Marion would fit in with the Lakers’ roster. In the past with Miami and Phoenix, Marion never really was the superstar of the team. Those roles went to Dwayne Wade, Steve Nash, or Amare Stoudemire.
Marion never really complained during the season and did his job, and he can do that with the Lakers since it is Kobe Bryant’s team. His experience can help train the younger guys, such as Trevor Ariza, Sasha Vujacic, Luke Walton, or even Coby Karl, to develop into stronger role players.
Miami wouldn't really lose out as it is a team that lacks size. In addition to Miami draft pick Michael Beasley, Odom and Mihm would help out Udonis Haslem and Alonzo Mourning in their front court.
Besides, Miami did pretty well in the 2004 playoffs when they had rookie Dwayne Wade and Lamar Odom. And contract-wise, everything supposedly checks out.
The Lakers need to call back Pat Riley and make this trade happen.