Lamar Odom: 8 Offseason Options the Lakers Have Involving Their 6th Man
After the Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated by the Mavericks, the blame game began.
Many fans are pointing fingers at stars like Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, while others point toward role players like Lamar Odom and Derrick Fisher.
Derrick Fisher has seen better days, but Lamar Odom could still be in the prime of his career. He holds plenty of trade value if the Lakers choose to move him.
The Lakers need to make a decision. They need to decide whether it is time to completely rebuild, or just reload using what they still have.
These are the eight offseason options the Lakers have regarding Lamar Odom.
8. Trade for Draft Picks
If the Lakers believe that their run is over, than it is time to start getting younger. There is no better place to do it than the draft.
Odom is easily worth a first-round pick, so the Lakers would not have a tough time finding a home for him.
I would send him to a team that just missed the playoffs a season ago for their first round pick. Teams like Milwaukee, Phoenix, Houston or Utah may be willing to part ways with a pick for Odom’s talents.
7. Trade for More Depth
Other than Lamar Odom, the Lakers bench is fairly weak. Shannon Brown is hot and cold, Matt Barnes lacks consistency on the offensive end and Steve Blake has been a huge disappointment.
The Lakers desperately need to find some consistency off the bench. A defensive minded big man and a wing scorer would be a great addition to the team.
Since Odom would start on most teams, he may be worth multiple players from some squads.
A team like Portland, who could trade C Greg Oden and G Rudy Fernandez, is a possible landing spot for Odom.
6. Trade for Rodney Stuckey
Derrick Fisher is noticeably past his prime. His defense is a liability and his offense is merely a shade of what it once was.
It is obvious that an improvement at point guard should be one of the Lakers top priorities this offseason. Rodney Stuckey could be one of the best available, or at least the most realistic option.
Send Lamar Odom for Stuckey in a sign and trade. The Pistons would love to acquire someone like Odom is exchange for Stuckey, rather than just seeing him walk.
Stuckey would provide the Lakers with some youth and athleticism. It would also allow Derrick Fisher to come off the bench.
5. Trade Bynum or Gasol So Odom Can Start
This scenario could be more likely than you think.
Andrew Bynum appears to be unhappy with the Lakers and the fans are turning on Pau Gasol for his horrible performance in the playoffs. Do not be surprised if the Lakers decide to trade one of these talented big men rather than their star sixth man.
Bynum and Gasol have more trade value than Odom; however, their absence would be much more noticeable than that of Odom.
If something like this does happen, the Lakers will probably be forced to change their style of play. With Odom starting at power forward, they would be more of a speed team that relies on their athleticism to win.
4. Trade for Ricky Rubio
Ricky Rubio is the most sought after NBA player that has never even played a minute in the league.
Rubio is considered to be the next big thing at point guard. He is extremely athletic, possesses exceptional court vision and can score in bunches.
The Timberwolves are a young team loaded with talent that have yet to put it all together. A veteran like Odom would improve this basketball team greatly.
For the Lakers, it would give their new head coach (whoever that ends up being) a great young point guard to work with. It also gives them a player to build a team around once Kobe and Gasol are retired.
3.Trade for Chris Paul
This is probably the least likely of all the scenarios. Not because the Lakers do not want Chris Paul, but because it would be a very difficult deal to work out.
The best possible one I could make work sends G Chris Paul, F Trevor Ariza and C David Anderson to Los Angeles for F Lamar Odom, C Andrew Bynum and G Derrick Fisher.
It is hard to say whether either team would be willing to make this deal. When you see so many big names, it usually is too good to be true.
That is the case with this deal.
2. Keep Lamar Odom
What if…The Lakers do nothing?
It is boring, but probable.
Lamar Odom has just one more year on his contract and then a team option for 2012-2013 for $8.2 million. That is a big paycheck for a bench player.
Don’t be surprised if the Lakers decide to hold onto Odom for just one more season, then let him walk after next year.
The Lakers are still a talented team and might feel they are still championship contenders. If that is the case, then they should keep the key players from their current unit.
This is probably the most likely scenario, unless the trade on the next slide happens.
1. Trade for Dwight Howard
This will be the Lakers' No. 1 goal this offseason. They need to somehow get Dwight Howard to LA.
The deal that is currently floating around involves Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum heading to Orlando for Dwight Howard.
Since Dwight Howard more than likely will not re-sign with the Magic following the 2011-2012 season, this might be the best possible option for Orlando. They probably will not receive any trades that contain better players than Bynum or Odom.
With Howard, Gasol and Kobe, the Lakers would once again be the top team in the NBA.