Lakers look OK despite Odom deal


The L.A. Lakers traded Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for cash and a future first-round pick this offseason. Photo by Bridget Samuels/Flickr

BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

Lately I’ve been finding myself arguing or disagreeing with people about the Los Angeles Lakers.

It’s funny to me because I’m not a huge fan of Team Kobe. I’ll admit that the boys in yellow and purple are fun to watch. I would even like to see them win the NBA Finals again because I respect Kobe Bryant as a player. And because those are my feelings, I’ll go to bat for the Lakers from time to time. I have recently defended L.A. because a lot of their fans do not like the fact that the front office traded Lamar Odom for nothing and weren’t able to make successful swaps for either Dwight Howard or Chris Paul.

The anger from these fans is warranted, but the Lakers haven’t lost much. L.A.’s starting five is still the same and the bench is still acceptable. They don’t have a strong player in the reserve role to score points, but I think they have enough of that fire power in the starting five. It’s a fact that the Lakers lost a good player and received crumbs — a protected first-round draft pick and cash — for Odom, who won the NBA’s sixth man of the year award last season. But how much will it really hurt the Lakers?

Here’s three reasons why I think Odom won’t be missed:

1. STEP IT UP: The Lakers lose their third-highest scorer from last season, but Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant are the clear leaders of this team. And with Odom out, expectations for the dominant duo should be at an all-time high. From my experience as a fan, Kobe and Pau can answer when called upon and don’t need to share shots with Odom for the Lakers to win. The loss of Odom should also put pressure on the former player known as Ron Artest AKA Metta World Peace.

2. DEPTH: L.A. has been shopping this offseason for Odom’s replacement, It should encourage fans that they’re doing so. L.A. signed Jason Kapono, who can shoot lights out and makes more than World Peace, Josh McRoberts and Troy Murphy. Those deals may not get fans extremely exited, but all three are crafty veterans who can offer the Lakers enough depth while Kobe and Pau take breathers. L.A. also still has Matt Barnes and Luke Walton, giving them even more options at the forward positions.

3. SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD: With Odom’s departure, the Lakers can also be rid of his wife, Khloe Kardashian. L.A. always has the big names in the stands, but I know I wouldn’t mind if any of the Kardashians never showed up to Staples Center again. A lot of fans, mainly women, might miss Lamar being in L.A. just because of Khloe, but count me out. I think she’ll fit in quiet nicely with good-hearted Texans in her new Dallas home.

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