Rest of NBA hoping for Odom, Lakers divorce

In what seems like the never ending contract negotiation process between the Los Angeles Lakers and their star forward Lamar Odom another interesting piece was brought into light today, even though it is something most of Lakers Nation already knew: the only team that wants Odom on the Lakers is, surprise, the Lakers.  While other teams such as Miami, Dallas, and even Portland are considering the possibility of adding Odom, it has always been about Odom and the Lakers.

Considering the Lakers are coming off a championship victory right this summer and have, in many people’s minds, upgraded from Trevor Ariza to Ron Artest, they would be the hands on favorite to win the title again in 2010, assuming they bring back Odom.  Odom has been the wild card throughout the past two seasons with the Lakers, as his performance has dictated the success of the Lakers as a unit.  This means trouble for the rest of the league if the Lakers were to bring back Odom while adding Artest and maintaining the rest of their core group of players.  As Marc Stein of ESPN brashly declared today;

The prospect of Lamar Odom‘s leaving the Los Angeles Lakers would be a free-agent triumph for 29 teams in the NBA and anyone else fretting about the league’s overall competitive health.

Stein’s point is dead on, if the Lakers do not manage to retain Odom their chances are repeating are sinking more than the ratings for Letterman’s Late Show. While the Lakers would still be a top tier team without Odom, don’t forget guys with names like Bryant, Gasol, and Artest, it seems very unlikely they would be able to overtake newly strengthened teams like Cleveland and Boston.

So while the basketball world waits and wonders what the eventual outcome will be  in the continuing Hollywood drama, the members of Lakers Nation have just a little more to sweat about.

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