The Los Angeles Lakers are in for a rough season which has caused many to speculate they could deal NBA legend Kobe Bryant to the New York KnicksThe Los Angeles Lakers entered the offseason hoping to get a meeting with New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony.
However, he chose to return to the Knicks on a five-year deal, passing on teaming with Kobe Bryant. With the Lakers coming off a 27-55 season and off to an 0-4 start, there has been speculation the Lakers could trade Kobe Bryant.
Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel argued the Lakers should trade Kobe Bryant to the Knicks to team him with Carmelo Anthony and reunite him with Derek Fisher and Phil Jackson.
ESPN’s Chad Ford agreed, saying the Lakers could take back “young players like Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. along with a 2015 first-round pick and a big expiring salary like Amar’e Stoudemire‘s or Andrea Bargnani.” In this situation, the Lakers would tank and try to get another young star to team with power forward Julius Randle, provided he makes a full recovery from the torn tibia he suffered on opening night.
Ok there are a few problems here. The first of which is that Kobe Bryant will make $23.5 million in the 2014-2015 season and another $25 million in the 2015-2016 season before coming off of the books and the Knicks are looking to clear cap space to make a run in free agency in 2015. Memphis Grizzlies‘ center Marc Gasol is expected to be their top target.
He is 36 years old and in his 19th NBA season. He is also coming off of two very serious injuries and played in just six games last season. The Lakers also make a lot of their money through their giant television contract and sponsors. Without a star like Kobe Bryant for companies and the team to sell and keep the fans in the stands, that could spell trouble in Los Angeles.
Most importantly, Kobe Bryant himself says he doesn’t want to go anywhere.
“I hear the chatter of Kobe should ask out and he should go and play for a contender in this latter stage of his career,” Kobe Bryant explained. “But that’s not what I do. I’m extremely loyal to the Lakers.
It would be a great story and a lot of fun to watch but it just doesn’t seem very realistic.
Through four games, Kobe Bryant is averaging 24.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 41.2% from the floor, 25.0% from beyond the arc and 78.1% from the foul line. Kobe Bryant has averaged 25.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 45.4% from the field, 33.5% from three and 83.8% from the charity stripe in his career in his career.
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