I remember there used to be a time when i constantly refreshed espn page 2 around lunchtime in hopes of a new Sports Guy article, well since Blogs and Deadspin and others, those days are few and far between. Its not just Deadspins fault, Simmons has lost his edge, I am not sure if its that every other article is about the Red Sox, or that all of his articles seem like i have read them 3500 times and no thought is that original or that he tried to get involved in the Premiere league (for 2 articles) or involved in NCAA Basketball commenting on games in a blog 4 days after the game happened, or what. There are many other issues, no sports movie review in months, I could go on. Well yesterday was officially the end for me, no more Sports Guy for me, he was on his last legs anyway but now no more.
With all of the excess hype that went around Kobe's flipflopping of wanting to be traded, Bill put up an article about the 7 deals that make sense (never mind its the first timely Simmons post in well forever) but it kind of seems like he had the article partially written out for the Allen Iverson trade or the Ron Artest years ago or KG or more likely the possible upcoming Vince Carter situation. His second most likely trade scenario, in its entirety.
Additional notes: This deal works as long as the Bulls renounce P.J. Brown's rights; also, it means the Lakers would receive a mammoth (and appealing) trade exception in the deal.
Comments: This seems like the most natural home for Kobe -- it's a big city; they're a contender in the East; there's enough talent left after the deal to make a run, and even the MJ-Kobe symmetry works nicely -- as well as the best possible haul for the Lakers. The deal could work in a variety of ways: Instead of renouncing Brown's rights, the Bulls could include Andres Nocioni as a sign-and-trade (starting at around $5 million per) and renounce Mike Sweetney's rights instead of Brown's. If they wanted to get even more creative, they could make it Deng, Gordon, P.J. Brown (sign and trade -- one year, $10 million) and the No. 9 for Kobe. They could try to substitute Ty Thomas and a future No. 1 for Deng. Etc., etc., etc.
Two big obstacles here:
(A) Would the Bulls ever give up Deng? The Lakers would have to get him back in a Kobe deal, right? I feel like he's become slightly overrated over the past season -- he's definitely a potential All-Star; he definitely could become the second-best player on a championship-caliber team, but I don't see him getting much better than he is right now. Do you ever see him scoring 27-28 a game? Do you ever see him being the crunch-time scorer on a great team? If you could land Kobe and keep Kirk Hinrich, Ben Wallace, Ty Thomas, Chris Duhon and Thabo Sefolosha, then sign one more veteran to help them out, that's a potential 2008 title team. Isn't the whole point to win a title?
(B) Would John Paxson ever roll the dice with a mega-deal for someone like Kobe? He seems to be happier stockpiling young assets and waiting for one of these other teams to offer him the likes of KG or Jermaine O'Neal for 30 cents on the dollar. By making a Kobe deal, Paxson would be shoving his chips to the middle of the table ... something he's been completely unwilling to do. We will see.There are countless things that make no sense, here is a quick list of 9.
1. Paxson has shown no interest in blockbuster deals (see KG and Gasol)
2. Paxson is stockpiling a young team for a potential dynasty (he played in one a couple years ago, Bill must have forgotten)
3. Kobe the egomaniac that he is would never play in "the House that Mike Built" He didnt want to be in Shaq or the Zen Masters shadow, why would he even consider playing in a town where no matter what he does he will always be second to 23.
4. Luol Deng is not getting traded, just not happening, and deal doesn't happen without Deng.
5. If no Deng then its some combination of at least 3 or 4 of these Thomas/ Sefolosha/ Gordon/ Draft pick/ Nocioni/ Kryapa all of which seem like alot for 1 player
6. Who on the Bulls is Selfish player, Pax has stockpiled team players why throw it all away for 1 selfish player.
7. Simmons B) why overpay for a superstar when there is a chance to get a marquee player at pennies on the dollar.
8. Eastern Conference Round 2 after sweep of Defending Champs to Pax means tweaking is in order not overhauling his master plan.
9. As Bill likes to say "the lesson is of course, I'm an idiot" so why should this be any different.