Lamar Odom is a risky acquisition if he decides to join the Los Angeles Lakers or the Los Angeles Clippers. Both Los Angeles franchises have shown interest and have been monitoring Lamar Odom as of late, and the Clippers have gone as far as having a meeting with him. The move would make sense for both teams, considering he has been living in LA and has played for both franchises recently. However, he is not the player that he once was, and these franchises should not expect him to be more than a bench player.
If the Clippers do decide to sign Lamar Odom, they will most likely go in knowing that he is a liability and a large gamble. When he was at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, he seemed to cause a lot of trouble. His ACT test scores were questioned, he was cited by the Las Vegas Police Department and he received payments from a booster. In his first few years in the NBA, Odom tested positive for drug use twice in a span of only eight months. However, while he was part of the Lakers, he cleaned up his behavior, and he seemed to have a stronger handle on things.
These past few seasons Lamar Odom has not shown himself to be in control of his personal life and has let it affect his play on the court. After discovering that the Lakers attempted to trade him in the botched Chris Paul trade during the summer of 2011, he was understandably disgruntled and requested a trade. As as result, he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks later.
During the 2011-2012 season with the Dallas Mavericks, he left the team mid-season after his play had took a turn for the worse, and he had a feud with management. This was a far cry from the season he had before with the Lakers, where he had earned sixth-man-of-the-year honors. In addition to this, his game splits went down from 13.5 points, 7.5 rebounds in 28.4 minutes in 2010-2011 to 6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game in 50 during the 2011-2012 while he was an important member of the Mavericks.
During the offseason he was traded to the Clippers, and he did not have much success during that season either. Although he did play in all 82 games of the regular season, he only posted stats of 4.0 points 5.9 rebounds in 19.7 minutes per game. It did not help that throughout these seasons, he was also filming his Keeping Up With the Kardashians spin-off, Khloe and Lamar. This led some to believe that instead of focusing his time and energy into returning back to form, he was focusing more on his Hollywood career. After last year’s season, Odom completed the large four-year, $33 million contract that he originally signed with the Lakers, therefore becoming a free-agent.
During this offseason he had not signed with a team, and it was also reported that he had been struggling with substance abuse. Because of this, his face was on the daily tabloids on a consistent basis.
Recently he has been arrested for driving under the influence. So it may be safe to say that he will not be receiving an offer as large as the one he had previously signed with the Lakers. But at 33 years old and being six-foot-ten inches tall , Odom may still have something to offer interested franchises, but the question is whether or not he will put in the work to focus and resemble the player that he was a mere two seasons ago.
The Los Angeles Clippers are not the best defensive team, coming in at 28th out of 32 teams with 105.7 point allowed per game. However, Odom may actually be able to add something to the defensive mind-set that new Head Coach Doc Rivers is attempting to implement this season.
The Los Angeles Clippers rank first in points scored with 110.0 points per game, and if they add a lengthy defender such as Lamar Odom, the Clippers can come a long way in widening the gap that has become so small in retrospect between their points allowed and points per game.
The potential upside for Odom appears to be great, especially considering that he will not be expected to be a main contributor on a team that has floor general Chris Paul, the exciting Blake Griffin and a great defender in DeAndre Jordan.
If Odom is unable to get himself together, it will most likely not be a terrible loss for the Clippers or even for whoever decides to sign him, because coming off of two disappointing seasons, he will ultimately not command a large contract.
If Lamar Odom signs soon, he can take his time throughout the season to find his role, and once the season begins to wind down, hopefully his playoff experience will come into play. After that, he will be able to help the Clippers reach the goal of a franchise first NBA Championship.