If Lamar Odom wants to make his first career All-Star appearance this season, he might want to temporarily join the Denver Nuggets front office in order to help facilitate the Carmelo Anthony mega-trade before the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 20.
As it currently stands, Anthony is one of eight shoe-ins on the Western Conference active 12-man roster, along with Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Pau Gasol, Deron Williams, Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki.
Because the game is being played in Los Angeles, the Clippers will likely be represented by freak-a-leak Blake Griffin, who is putting up 22.0 points and 12.7 rebounds per game in his rookie campaign. Kevin Love should also get some, well, love for leading the league in rebounds per game (15.7) and double-doubles (35). And with the injured Yao Ming unable to compete, the Nuggets' Nene is the favorite to fill the starting center void.
That leaves one open spot for four worthy players: Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Steve Nash and Odom.
Averaging 21.1 points, six rebounds and 2.7 assists per game, Rudy Gay is the Grizzlies' best player, but teammate Zach Randolph is also having a sensational season (20.0 points and 12.9 rebounds per game en route to 25 double-doubles, fourth-most in the NBA). Steve Nash, who might be traded as well, is averaging his customary double-double (17.2 points and 10.8 assists). And then there is Odom, who is averaging a near double-double, with totals of 15.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, while shooting a career-high 56.8 percent from the field (fourth-highest in the league).
If Anthony is traded before the showcase contest, that frees up a second opening on the West's roster. Either Gay or Randolph will occupy one of those spots, leaving Nash and Odom battling for the other.
Between the two, Nash is having a better statistical and perhaps impactful season for the 17-21 Suns, but the Lakers have the second-most wins in the NBA, thanks in part to 17 double-doubles from Odom. Essentially, it's a coin toss.
Even if Odom is snubbed from his first All-Star selection, at least he'll be spending the night with one of the Kardashians. How many All-Stars can say that?
You can contact Josh Hoffman at email@example.com.