Found May 22, 2012 on
Sports Blog Net:
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
I’ll admit that every year I go into the NBA season rooting for the Lakers to win the title, but I knew going into this season that it was going to be hard pressed to win the Western Conference, yet alone the NBA Championship this year for this Lakers squad. The team was fundamentally flawed in so many ways, starting with the loss of Lamar Odom.
When the Chris Paul trade was wrongfully ripped by the commissioner, it also ripped the heart out of Lamar Odom. The NBA's sixth man of the year is as sensitive and mentally fragile as he is talented on the court. When the news broke that he was part of a deal that would bring the perennial MVP candidate Paul to L.A. it shattered Odom's psyche. It was apparent after his eventual trade to Dallas that he was shaken up by the attempted move. His season was a disaster and ultimately he was told to stay away from the team all together.
And for as bad as the season was for Odom, the Lakers suffered from his departure only slightly less. They lacked depth off the bench, consistent scoring from a big man, they lost considerable size in the front court and Odom was always a player that could go for 20 and 10 each night, giving his team the boost they needed to win. Without him their second unit became one of the worst in the league. They couldn't get any bench scoring. Suddenly they weren't as long and as dominant in the paint as they were in previous years. The Lakers tried to make a move at the point guard position to bolster their scoring, but ultimately it was too little too late.
So now they head into an offseason with questions about where to go from here. There are a few moves that I think would make the Lakers much better going forward, and these moves are available if they can strike a deal.
The Celtics are at the end of the road with their big three. The most coveted piece is without question Paul Pierce, but I like Ray Allen for the Lakers much more. He provides defense, an outside shooting threat, leadership, work ethic and he's a winner. If the Lakers could put together a package that would include Pau Gasol and either Jordan Hill or Metta World Peace, and in return get Allen and Brandon Bass that would be a huge upgrade for the Lakers. Bass is a guy who can get rebounds and points. He's athletic, can work the glass and will hustle on every play. Not only would they get younger at the power forward position, but they would get some shooting help for Kobe and they would unload an aging Gasol and a horrid contract with Metta World Peace.
The other move is a no brainer; Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard. It's clear that Bynum has all the upside in the world, but he just can't keep his head on straight. If the Lakers can convince the Magic to part ways with Howard, Andrew Bynum makes for the perfect replacement in Orland and both teams can walk away from that deal happy. Howard is a much better defender than Bynum and when paired (potentially) with Brandon Bass, the Lakers instantly become one of the most athletic front courts in the league. Coach Brown wants to play hard nose defense, and there's no better place to start that acquiring Dwight Howard.
That would leave them with a need at the point guard position. Best case scenario Chris Paul opts out of his contract at the end of next season and comes to the Lakers as a free agent. That being said Ramon Sessions is a better than average point guard right now, and if they can go out and get a solid, quick, flashy back up in the draft that would give them a burst in that second unit that desperately struggled to score points this year.
Oh, and they need to get Lamar Odom back. And they can for a bargain. Give him a one year contract for a minimum salary and let him play his way back into the league. He wants to be in L.A. and the Lakers are better with him in the lineup.
If they can somehow pull off these deals in the offseason consider them my pick to win the Championship next year.
BEST OF MAXIM
Lamar Odom’s future is unclear at this point, but we can pretty much expect the Mavericks to trade, or waive, the 2x NBA champ following a disappointing year in Dallas.
According to ESPN, any team that has Odom on it’s roster come June 29th must buy him out for $2.4 million or otherwise accept responsibility for the full $8.2 million that Odom is scheduled to earn in 2012...
New York-native Lamar Odom has decided he wants to add his hometown team the New York Knicks to the list of basketball cities he has called home during his NBA career. Odom still has one year left to his contract with the Dallas Mavericks at $8.2 million but a team has up to June 29 to buy him out at $2.4 million if they don’t want to pay the whole sum.CLICK HERE TO READ MORE »
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