I’ll Take You to the Kobe Shop by Maxwell Baumbach
Earlier today, Twitter exploded in the wake of Ric Bucher claiming that the Lakers should shop Kobe Bryant. While Kobe is having an excellent scoring season and is clearly the alpha dog of the team, would it really be that bad of an idea? Many people feel that the Lakers will not be able to win a championship this season due to a lack of depth. Who could you move on the Lakers to get a number of strong rotation players? Kobe Bryant, that’s who. While I am not saying it’s the best idea to ship the Black Mamba out of town, I think that it would be advantageous for the Lakers to look into it to see what they could get in return. I think it would be so advantageous, in fact, that I looked into it for them. Here are five of the trades that they could make.
Obviously, Pavlovic is the best part of this trade for the Lakers. I kid. However, this deal would help out the Lakers in a few places. First off, they fix their point guard problems by acquiring a young player who will be there for years to come. I also having a strange feeling that Rondo and Bynum would mesh together really well for some reason. On top of that, the Lakers also address their lack of perimeter shooting by adding Ray Allen into the mix, who is shooting 48.3% from three-point land this year. Pavlovic is just there. No team would want to give up Kobe, but it would also be hard to pass up a starting five of Rondo, Allen, Barnes, Gasol, and Bynum.
Kobe Bryant to the Hawks for Josh Smith, Kirk Hinrich, and Tracy McGrady
You would probably want to get a lot of young pieces for Kobe, so this trade is not the most appealing in that regard. However, it provides immediate help. Smith could be slipped to the three position and start, Hinrich would run the point, and a McGrady/Goudeluck combo at the 2 would certainly provide a scoring spark. Hinrich/McGrady/Smith/Gasol/Bynum might not take you to the promise land, but they would definitely be a playoff team that could contend in the immediate future.
Kobe Bryant to the Pacers for Danny Granger, Paul George, and Darren Collison
Darren Collison might not be a traditional point guard, but he would certainly be an upgrade over Steve Blake and Derek Fisher. Danny Granger is a capable scorer, and Paul George could play the two. George and Collison are also both shooting around the 40% marker from three on the season, so they would provide extra depth as well as perimeter offense help. On top of that, Collison/George/Granger/Gasol/Bynum would be one of the biggest, longest starting fives in the league, which would allow the Lakers clog up the defensive end of the floor with their size.
Kobe Bryant to the Nets for Deron Williams, MarShon Brooks, DeShawn Stevenson, and Mehmet Okur’s expiring contract
Deron Williams and MarShon Brooks are the big selling point of this trade. Stevenson is having a terrible season and probably couldn’t score more than four points in a third grade subdivision league. Mehmet Okur has a massive expiring contract, and the money from that could be used to bring in someone else next season. In the meantime, he provides Bynum insurance, can rebound and score, and would be a more natural fit at the center position than Troy Murphy. Deron Williams is one of the best point guards in the league when he cares, and putting him on a Lakers team with people like Gasol and Bynum would certainly be motivating for him. While Williams provide the Lakers with a top player in the immediate future, they also get a great scoring prospect in MarShon Brooks.
Kobe Bryant to the 76ers for Andre Iguodala, Evan Turner, and Jrue Holiday
I like this trade for both teams. While the 76ers don’t have a\superstar to spare, they have an absurd amount of depth that they can afford to shed. The Lakers would get starters at the 1, 2, and 3 position who are all capable of shooting from the outside. In addition to that, they are all good defenders. That would make them a perfect fit for Mike Brown’s system. The system works in Los Angeles, along the destination for Kobe Bryant. The hometown factor could be mentioned to persuade Kobe in signing off on such deal.
Now, at this point you probably noticed that I did not list a single Western conference team. Why is that? It is because I firmly believe that if the Lakers trade Kobe to another team in the same conference, he would come back to haunt them. Despite his advanced age, a motivate Kobe is still a terrifying thing. We saw that in his performance against the Miami Heat on Sunday. While the Lakers could help out their future, they would need to understand how big of a risk it is to piss off Kobe Bryant, especially considering that they couldn’t get an equally valuable set of players in return.