Tuesday , Oct , 23 , 2007 Oly Sandor

You Decide When L.A. Lakers Trade Kobe Bryant: Before Regular Season Or At Trade Deadline?

It’s not if, but when. When will the Los Angeles Lakers trade Kobe Bryant? When will the eccentric Buss family hold a press conference to announce the biggest trade in NBA history? There are two schools of thought on when Bryant gets dealt. Some, such as Vescey’s source, believe a trade happens soon-like before the season tips off on October 30th. Most believe a deal goes down later this year, right around the February deadline …

A source tells the New York Post’s Peter Vescey that the Lakers will trade Kobe Bryant before the regular season begins: 

I’m determined not to leave Los Angeles until either Kobe Bryant is blown away by the Santa Ana trade winds or Coby Karl calls Jerry Buss a liar. Some piped-in people out here are convinced Bryant will not be a Laker Oct. 30 when they open the season against the glaringly upgraded Rockets, even if L.A. must accept an inequitable return for the league’s preeminent talent; that’s how repugnant he supposedly has become to the owner’s senses.

My Quick Take: It’s not if, but when. When will trade ? When will the eccentric Buss family hold a press conference to announce the biggest trade in NBA history?

There are two schools of thought on when Bryant gets dealt. Some, such as Vescey’s source, believe a trade happens soon-like before the season tips off on October 30th. Most believe a deal goes down later this year, right around the February deadline.

When do you think Bryant gets dealt: sooner or later? Below is the case for both sides of the issue. As always, read the post and tell us when you see a trade happening in the comment box below.

Why Sooner Makes Sense

1) It’s become personal. The organization can’t move forward until the Buss-Bryant feud is resolved. And the Buss clan has grown tired of accommodating Bryant’s whims, so they’ll move him as soon as possible. Why else would Jerry Buss, the family’s figurehead, give the L.A. Times such a damning tell-all interview last week?

2) Don’t let fans make an emotional investment. Suppose L.A. transcends the drama, gets off to a fast start, and is on pace to secure a playoff spot. Trading Bryant becomes even more complicated because the Laker faithful will have rallied behind their squad.

Why Later Makes Sense

1) Why rush a key decision? What the Lakers get, or don’t get, for Bryant defines their future. Holding off on a trade until the February deadline likely lands L.A. a better package of players, draft picks, and money.

2) As reported today, Coach Phil Jackson has the final say on Bryant’s future. They got into a minor tiff last week over practice, but Kobe is still the Zen Master’s favorite student. Jackson is in the final year of his contract as Lakers’ coach; he’ll only approve a mid-season trade if the team is out of the playoffs.

3) Trading for a player of Bryant ‘s stature takes time. For example, the Kevin Garnett deal took months to facilitate. Teams must first agree on the players to exchange and then balance their specific salaries under the NBA’s cap system.

Bottom Line

All signs point to Bryant getting traded later this year. Of course, the Lakers didn’t wait long before moving after the 2003-04 NBA Finals. Hopefully, they learned their lesson and won’t cut another quick deal out of spite.

Sooner or later? Let us know when you think Kobe Bryant gets traded by dropping your thoughts in the comment box below.

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