Saturday, October 20, 2007

Kobe Bryant Trade (1)

So what did we learn about the NBA trade climate over the summer? Well, we learned that, if all parties want to make a trade happen, a trade will happen. The NBA salary cap is such that there are a wide variety of ways to make things work, and when you're talking about elite players like Kevin Garnett, there's no shortage of buyers.

Your next question is, "What about Shawn Marion and Andrei Kirilenko? They wanted to be traded, but they're still on their respective teams." Right you are, but in those instances, only one party wants to make a trade happen (though the Suns seem willing to move Marion if the situation is right). The Suns and Jazz both had very nice seasons last year, and aren't hankering to break up their cores. The Timberwolves and Celtics were both sub par teams last year, so shaking things up was appealing to both sides.

Now, let's look at the current situation with Kobe Bryant. Unless we've been deceived, it certainly seems like Bryant wants to be traded. Now to the harder question: do the Lakers want to trade him? They've postured themselves recently to suggest that they do, but Bryant is a transcendent player who's still in his prime. It's never easy to toss that kind of talent aside, and it's even harder when your team is coming off of a playoff appearance, regardless of getting bounced in the first round.

But it's no fun to say that a trade won't happen, so we'll take the comments of Jerry Buss at face value, and start looking at potential trades. Also of note: In the NBA, matching salaries is just as important as matching talent. Luckily, ESPN.com has what they call the NBA Trade Machine, which evaluates trades on a salary basis to determine whether or not a particular trade works out. I'm currently working on another post that will have a few trades I've examined. I'll post it as soon as it's done.

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