By Elliott Teaford
OVERVIEW: Sixth man Lamar Odom accepted a lesser role in order to help the Lakers be a deeper, stronger team. He moved from a starting spot to a backup role to start the season, and then returned to a starting job when Andrew Bynum injured his knee Jan. 31. Then he went back to the bench when Bynum returned to the active roster with four games remaining in the regular season. Odom is nothing if not versatile. He averaged 11.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 78 regular-season games. He then averaged 12.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 23 playoff games. His scoring average was the lowest of his career, but he was never more valuable to the Lakers than in 2008-09. He is an unrestricted free agent and the Lakers hope to re-sign him as soon as possible.
QUOTEWORTHY: "It (the last five seasons) seems like it went by so fast, from not making the playoffs to winning the championship to being an unrestricted free agent with the opportunity to move (to another team). It feels a little surreal."
STRENGTH: Capable of playing all five positions in any given circumstance.
WEAKNESS: Too willing to let others dictate play when he should do it himself.
CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent.
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