When you're trading a superstar, you obviously have pretty high standards for what you want in return. Thus, I established the following criteria that a potential trade that I believe the trade would have to satisfy for it to happen:
A) Kobe must be traded to a playoff team.
B) Lakers must receive a starter who can handle the ball.
C) Lakers must receive young talent.
D) Lakers must receive expiring contracts.
Initially, I thought that only one of the last two would be necessary, but realistically, to equal Kobe's value, the other team would probably need to provide both. However, to take into account the different caliber of players (and contracts), I'm setting a variable of 0, 1, or 2 points per trade aspect. For the Lakers to accept the trade, they would need at least 6 points in return.
The two teams that seem to come up a lot when talking about Kobe Bryant trades are the Bulls and the Mavericks. So I played with it a little, and came up with the following two trades that seem to benefit both teams involved, and match up salary-wise.
Trade #1: Bulls trade Tyrus Thomas, Chris Duhon, Viktor Khryapa, Joakim Noah, and Kirk Hinrich to Lakers for Kobe Bryant.
A) 2 points - The Bulls are still one of the sexy picks in the Eastern Conference.
B) 2 points - Hinrich has his faults, but he's definitely a very solid ball-handler, and is talented enough to command a starting role immediately.
C) 2 points - Thomas was in the mix for the #1 overall pick a year ago, and Noah has got the potential to be a solid contributor.
D) 1 point - Over $5 million in expiring contracts between Khryapa and Duhon. It won't get them under the cap, but it'll get them closer.
Total - 7 points, looks like a decent deal for both parties.
Trade #2: Mavericks trade Josh Howard, DeSagana Diop, Nick Fazekas, and Jason Terry to Lakers for Kobe Bryant.
A) 2 points - As long as Dirk is a Maverick, they're a safe bet to make the playoffs.
B) 2 points - Terry is a fantastic point guard. He's a little seasoned, but can still play with the best of them.
C) 2 points - Howard is highly touted, and last year he really started to shine. Fazekas could be decent.
D) 0 points - Only the $2 million for Diop expires next season, and there's over $50 million committed to Howard and Terry over the next 4 years.
Total - 6 points, and Dallas has to give up a lot of its core, plus Kobe goes to a Western Conference team. I don't see this happening.
So the trade with the Bulls is the one that will probably happen, right? Well, hold on there. You should know by now that, once I get started talking about trades, I don't stop until everyone else is bored to tears. I'm going to make a third post, using the same evaluating factors, but looking at trades between the Lakers and teams besides the Mavs and Bulls. Get ready for that.
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