Dec 13, 2011, 6:07 PM EDT
Josh McRoberts has a lot of fans around the league because he is a hard-nosed, smart player — not flashy but he plays within himself and gets the job done.
Which will make him an interesting fit on the Los Angeles Lakers. McRoberts signed for two years with the Lakers for the mini mid-level exception of $2.5 million per year, tweets Marc Spears of Yahoo. McRoberts, a Duke alum, played last season in Indiana.
McRoberts essentially replaces Odom on the court, although in a very different way. McRoberts is a great pickup at that price for the Lakers — solid rebounder and defender who is a very efficient scorer around the rim (68 percent shooter within three feet, according to John Schuhmann at NBA.com). He’s going to get open looks in L.A. he did not in Indiana, so his midrange may improve. He will provide quality minutes behind Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum (especially now that Derrick Caracter may be out for the season with a torn meniscus in his knee).
But he will not provide the versatility or skill of Odom, who could come in off the bench and just change a game. He also is not married to a Kardashian. Well, at least not yet.
The other thing McRoberts will not provide is a locker room presence. Darius Soriano of Forum Blue & Gold phrased it well — in the Laker locker room Kobe Bryant is the bad cop, Derek Fisher the good cop, and Odom was the big brother who put his arm around you and talked to you about it. He will be missed.
That is not to diminish what is a nice pickup by the Lakers.
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