I believe that Lamar Odom would be a Los Angeles Clippers player at the moment if not for his off-the-court issues this past summer.
Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne reaffirm that theory as they report that the Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers are keeping an eye out for Lamar Odom in case he’s ready to make his return to the court:
Sources told ESPN.com that the Clippers and Lakers, with both teams having registered interest in signing Odom this past summer until his private life became a near-daily subject for the tabloid media, will have renewed interest in the 33-year-old if he indeed makes a comeback this season.
Odom recently has begun training again with an eye toward making a return to the floor during the second half of the season, sources have said.
via L.A. teams would consider Odom | ESPN Los Angeles
The Clippers waited a long time for Odom this summer before moving on to the Antawn Jamison signing, so the current news doesn’t shock me.
With Ryan Hollins and Byron Mullens being the primary bigs off the bench, Lamar Odom would be looked at as an upgrade. Offensively he’s struggled the last two years of his career, averaging 5 points on 37 percent shooting during his time with the Clippers and Dallas Mavericks, but his defense was a huge part of #ATRIBECALLEDBENCH.
The Clippers are rolling right now. Unless an injury happens, the Doc Rivers and company won’t make a move though Stein and Shelburne reports the team is considering several options for their 15th roster spot.
Seeing that both Los Angeles teams are showing an interest in Odom, where Odom would pick to play could be an indication of a) how far along he is as a player at the moment, b) how much of an impact he thinks he can currently make and c) how serious he is about winning. Even with a healthy Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash, the Lakers are a fringe playoff team. It’ll take a couple of miracles from the basketball Gods for the Lakers to end the season a top-eight seed. The Clippers have a higher ceiling (today and in the future) and will be competing for a championship, hopefully, come June.
When teams are allowed to dish out 10-day contracts in January, expect the Odom talks to arise again. I doubt anything happens between now and then.