Without Trevor Ariza and Possibly Lamar Odom, How Can Lakers Repeat?

bob bobAnalyst IJuly 17, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 04:  (L-R) Lamar Odom #7, Kobe Bryant #24 and Trevor Ariza #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers react in the second half against the Orlando Magic in Game One of the 2009 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 4, 2009 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 Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The past few days, Lamar Odom and the Los Angeles Lakers have made a buzz around the basketball world.

I'm sure every Lakers fan around the world knows about the recent developments in the Lakers' negotiations with Odom.

The Lakers organization has withdrawn its offer to Odom after he and his agent left the Lakers hanging without a response. The rescinding of the offer was also due to Odom's agent opening talks with other teams in the league. The bright side is the offers could be once again reopened.

The Lakers already lost a key player from their championship team, as Trevor Ariza swapped places with Ron Artest. Trevor is now playing for a broken team: the Houston Rockets.

While playing for the Lakers last year, Ariza averaged 8.9 points, 1.7 steals, and 4.3 rebounds per game. In the playoffs Ariza came up big, averaging 11.3 point, 1.6 steals, and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 47 percent from behind the arc.

If the Lakers lose Odom, they would be losing a player who averages 15.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. Lamar might be an "iffy" player, but when he gets it going, the Lakers are at their full potential.

Like Ariza, Odom came up big during the playoffs. One of his most memorable plays in the finals was the back-to-back threes he hit to stop Orlando's run during the third quarter of the fifth game in the series. Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets said Odom was the key in the Lakers/Nuggets series.

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In hopes of the Lakers repeating, they want Odom back on their roster. Without Odom, the Lakers' bench does not have a leader. The Lakers' second unit will not be as strong and will be weak compared to other championship contenders' benches.

The Lakers are still a top five team and are in the mix for getting a title next season, but their chances will significantly decrease without Ariza and possibly Odom.

Kobe Bryant has expressed outwardly feelings in wanting Odom back. He better use some of his power over the Los Angeles front office and bring him back for next season if he wants to increase his chances of being on the top team again.

The drama continues for the Los Angeles Lakers, as their bid for a repeat lives on.

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