The last few seasons have been tough for Lamar Odom, who averaged just 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds while playing 50 games for the Dallas Mavericks in 2011-12 and four points and 5.9 rebounds in 82 games for the Los Angeles Clippers last season.
In my opinion, Odom’s best chance to turn things around is to continue playing in the same building, only for a new team.
He needs to rejoin the Los Angeles Lakers.
Some people, including one of my colleagues, feel that the 33-year-old free agent forward has no business signing with one of the most historic franchises in sports, but I disagree. After all, Odom was just as much a part of Kobe Bryant‘s supporting cast when the Lakers won back-to-back NBA championships in 2009 and 2010 as Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum were.
Fisher and Bynum are no longer in Los Angeles, while Gasol and Bryant are aging members of one of the league’s oldest rosters, with the latter still recovering from surgery. He had to repair a torn Achilles tendon less than four months ago.
In seven seasons with the Lakers from 2004-10, Odom averaged 13.8 points and 9.5 rebounds. After starting every game that he played in during his first four seasons in L.A., the 6’10”, 230 pounder came off the bench for much of his final three years in town, becoming one of the NBA’s premier sixth men.
He may have lost a step or two, but Odom is still capable of giving the Lakers 20-25 minutes off the bench, and both he and several of his former teammates would probably be comfortable having him fill such a role once again.