NBA Free Agents: Why Lakers Are Dumb to Replace Lamar Odom with Josh McRoberts

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IDecember 13, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 26:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Lamar Odom #7 in the third quarter while taking on the New Orleans Hornets in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers made their roster a lot worse by signing underachieving forward Josh McRoberts to replace last year's Sixth Man of the Year winner, Lamar Odom.

The Lakers have replaced an all-star player who was crucial to the team's championship success the past few seasons with a bad player who is a backup at best.

What Odom gave the Lakers was amazing versatility that created matchup nightmares for every team in the NBA.

Odom is a 6'10" forward who can bring the ball up and make plays, which hardly anyone his size can do. Odom can also shoot from the outside, take the ball to the basket and score, rebound, and defend three different positions.

He filled so many roles for the Lakers and allowed them to be creative with their rotations. Now that he is gone, the team has lost their ability to play different kinds of lineups.

McRoberts has not lived up to his potential during his brief NBA career after he foolishly left Coach K and Duke way too early.

Playing with better players is not going to suddenly make McRoberts' stats increase to a level where he shatters his previous career highs.

McRoberts is only going to play power forward, because he would be dominated at center. He is not tough enough and will not be able to defend or block shots at center.

He only averaged 7.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season with less than one block per game. McRoberts will not help the Lakers in any way at either end of the floor.

Lakers star Kobe Bryant did not even like the trade.


"I don't like it," Bryant said. "To be honest with you, I don't like it."

He later said:

"You're talking about the Sixth Man of the Year last year," Bryant said. "He played lights out. I don't understand the criticism of reality shows and this, that and the other. I don't get it. I don't understand that. He had his best season last season, clearly wasn't a distraction, and he played his ass off. I don't get where that comes from."

I understand that Odom asked to be traded, but would he have done that if the team just told him to calm down after his name was mentioned in the killed Chris Paul trade last week?

I doubt it. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak should have gone to Lamar and said, "Look we were trying to trade you, but you are still an important member of this team."

Cooler heads likely would have prevailed and the team could have moved forward.

Instead, the Lakers severely downgraded their team by replacing McRoberts with Odom. It was a foolish move that will make the team worse now and in the future.


Nicholas Goss is an NBA Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report.