Now Kobe is backpedaling away from his ultimatum with the “I’m just making a suggestion” line, making a trade significantly less likely. But that doesn’t mean we can’t come up with insane trading scenarios!
This would be an excellent year to trade Bryant, with 2 potential franchise guys in the draft and a myriad of All-Star caliber but unhappy players. Here are my best attempts:
Trade #1: Blazers
Trailblazers get: Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum
Lakers get: LaMarcus Aldridge, Jarrett Jack and the #1 pick.
Lakers get a nucleus to build around and the franchise Center they always want in Oden. They won’t win now, but will have the most promising young talent in the NBA. The Blazers will become an instant contender since Kobe will have Zach Randolph and Brandon Roy as legitimate second and third options. They also get Bynum, a developing Center that won’t directly threaten Randolph’s place in the post for a few years.
Trade #2: Sonics
Sonics get: Kobe Bryant and the Lakers 1st and 2nd round pick
Lakers get: Luke Ridnour, Ray Allen and the #2 pick
Lakers address shooting and point guard needs, while presumably adding Durant to go along with Lamar Odom. They also get to hold onto their project Andrew Bynum. Sonics get a motivated Kobe Bryant, and a pretty solid 1st and 2nd round picks in a deep draft. They can package these picks to move up grab to the 5th-9th picks if they’d like. More importantly, with Kobe the team has a proven superstar to keep the Sonics in Seattle.
Trade #3: Nets
Nets get: Kobe Bryant
Lakers get: Jason Kidd and Vince Carter
Nets get the Batman for Richard Jefferson’s Robin, who will be the reliable sidekick Kobe’s been looking for post-Shaq. Lakers get Jason Kidd who’ll be primed to make one last run at a title, making Odom, Carter and Bynum better players in the process.
Trade #4: Celtics
Celtics get: Kobe Bryant and Vlad Radmanovic
Lakers get: Paul Pierce and the #5 pick
The Sports Guy gets: material for years
The Celtics get to overcome their lottery misfortunes by acquiring arguably the best player in the NBA and a marquee franchise guy. They also get a shooter in Radmanovic, which they need as well. Boston media will have something new to talk about. The Lakers get a player in Pierce that is willing to defer when necessary, can match 80-90% of Kobe’s production and a high draft pick to take a very good player.
I prefer the Blazers deal myself, but I’m a sucker for blockbuster trades. Please propose your trade scenarios, no matter how crazy, in the comments.
Click here for ESPN’s handy Trade Machine.