Would the Lakers trade Kobe for Joakim Noah?

Luol Deng is now a British
citizen so he can play on the
2012 UK Olympic team.

Bulls news is as slow as ever. I found this article today about Luol Deng and the 2012 British basketball team. It’s a little hard to get excited for a team that will exist 5 years from now, though if you’re a basketball fan in the UK I guess you take what you can get. I love Lu and have every confidence that he’ll be an all-star very soon, but this description is a bit optimistic in terms of his potential even if you are a Bulls fan:

But the 22-year-old hopes it will be the first step on the road
to the 2012 Olympic Games, and the start of a revolution in British
When the London Games come around, the Sudan-born player
will be 27, and on the basis of his current form, would
walk into any Olympic team in the world.
Last season he was the National Basketball Association's
Sportsman of the Year, and is poised to sign a new four-year
contract, which would put him above Premier League stars
such as Wayne Rooney and John Terry in terms of earnings.
But for £70 a day, Deng has chosen to play for Britain, a
country which, in its one previous Olympic basketball
tournament - also in London, in 1948 - lost all three games.
The burning question is - why?

Manute Bol and Luol Deng are both from
the Dinka tribe in The Sudan. Manute
taught Luol how to paly basketball.
Fortunately Deng is a bit taller than Mugsy.

Somebody needs to tell them across the pond that the NBA’s Sportsman of the Year has nothing to do with the winner’s basketball abilities. If Deng were an American it looks like he’d have a shot at the 2012 Team USA. But walk on to any team in the world? Hopefully, but it certainly doesn’t look like a given yet.

Luol Deng is to British basketball as Luol Deng is to
these two guys next to him.

Let’s talk about a Kobe to the Bulls trade since there’s nothing else to focus on and Kobe hasn’t backed off his trade demand despite multiple opportunities. Remember, Bryant has a no trade clause and has made it clear several times that Chicago is his #1 option.

Let me start off by making it clear that I don’t think this trade will ever happen. If the Lakers demand anything over Ben Gordon and Tyrus Thomas I don’t think Paxson would go for it. Paxson has put several years and a lot of effort into composing a team of his type of players. High character guys from winning backgrounds who won’t rock the boat. He believes in his plan and his team. He’s shown in the past two seasons that he won’t deal his players even when he has a great opportunity. I’m not saying that he should or shouldn’t trade for Kobe, just that he won’t.

If I’m running the Bulls I engage in serious trade talks with the Lakers, even if I’m going in thinking there’s a 1% chance anything is going to get done. Ben Gordon is definitely on the table because Kobe would replace everything BG7 brings to the team and more. I love Little Ben, but Kobe is Kobe. I could give up either Tyrus or Noah, but not both. The team needs one quality big man for the future, at least. I could include Ben Wallace but they wouldn’t want him. Duhon would have to be a part of the trade because he only has 1 year left on his contract and would add PG depth to a Lakers team that desperately needs it. I don’t think Nocioni could be included because his contract is brand new, but if he could be I would make him part of the deal. I’d have to include a lot of spare pieces because Kobe makes so much and his contract would have to be offset.

Basically I’d offer everything except the below players and throw in every first round pick for the next 5 years. Considering how strong the team would be and the youth it would still have, I’d have no use for the draft anyway.

Ben Wallace – The Lakers wouldn’t want him and he’d help a lot in what would be the first of several inevitable Finals runs.

Kirk Hinrich – As the Celtics will find out this season, you can’t win a championship without a quality point guard. Duhon is good but I don’t want him in charge of a championship team.

Tyrus Thomas OR Joakim Noah – Since the Bulls don’t have any superstars, exciting young players are what the Lakers would demand in return for Kobe. Tyrus is as exciting as they come and Noah was a huge college star. Both would be appealing to LA. The Bulls have to keep one in order to secure a well-rounded team 5 years from now.

Luol Deng – Because he’s still only 22 and clearly getting better by the day I wouldn’t involve him in any trade. Sure, Kobe is better than Deng probably ever will be. Nevertheless, if I’m running the Bulls, Deng is not in this trade.

Thabo Sefolosha – I would only throw Sefolosha in at the last second if he was a deal breaker. As Kobe gets older and doesn’t have enough energy to play 100% at both ends of the floor this team would need a defensive stopper like Sefolosha. Also, it’s looking like Thabo could spell Hinrich at the point, which would be important if Duhon was included in the trade. Sefolosha could also play the two and the three making him an ideal 6th man. He would bring very necessary depth to the team.

We’d be looking at a team that not even Tim Donaghy could touch. It would line up like this:

C – Ben Wallace
PF – Tyrus Thomas or Joakim Noah
SF – Luol Deng
SG – Kobe Bryant
PG – Kirk Hinrich

6th Man – Thabo Sefolosha
Bench – Anything left after the trade. The Bulls are one of the deepest teams in the NBA right now and a couple of quality players would be left after a trade, even with the boatload of spare change they’d have to give up.

That’s what I’d present to the Lakers organization. That’s probably similar to what Kobe is imagining when he pictures himself in a Bulls uniform. However, Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupchak would turn it down and I’d go into the season perfectly happy with what I have.

Paxson won’t even go that far. I’m sure of it, not mad about it, just sure of it. Kobe might imagine the Bulls giving up that package + Deng and still think he brings enough that he could make up for what the team is losing. As great as he is, that Bulls team seems too similar to his current Lakers team.

So what you see right now when you look at the Bulls roster is what you’ll see on opening night and very likely what you’ll see the day after the trade deadline. Personally, I’m happy with what I see.

8 Responses to “Would the Lakers trade Kobe for Joakim Noah?”

  1. 1 fletcher
    October 12, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    kobe is a laker for life. all the lakers need to do is get better players

  2. 2 Anonymous
    October 12, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    i don’t know if you’ve been paying attention i the last couple of days, but Buss (spelling?) just said he’s open to trade offers for kobe. I agree that the lakers need to get better players around him, but i’d guess he’s gone before the trade deadline. i don’t think he’ll be a Bull, but I think he’ll be gone from the Lakers unless they miraculously become a top 4 team in the east by the deadline.

    it’s interesting actually, i used to want Kobe on the Bulls. I still believe he’s currently the best overall player in the league. Did you see that reverse dunk he threw down in yesterday’s preseason game? I didn’t think he could do that kind of thing anymore. Nevertheless, I’m REALLY excited about the current Bulls roster and unless the f up during the season I don’t want to see them give half of it away for kobe, even if he is the best player alive. I don’t think the lakers would take anything less.

  3. 3 emoney
    December 3, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    what a dumb qestion

  4. 4 312chill
    December 4, 2007 at 12:18 am

    “what a dumb question”

    hey emoney, what a dumb name. did you bother to read the post before insulting it? I will often disagree with readers who post comments, but until now I’ve never insulted one. However, you fully deserve to be insulted. Not only are you ignorant, but you’re lazy, dumb and blind as well. Hey, when was this posted? Oh, that’s right, in mid-August. You’re 4 freaking months late dumbass. That’s 1/3 of a year. Great Job. Post a response if you have anything to say, though I highly doubt you will. I hope to hear from you soon. My e-mail is watkinscbw@gmail.com.

    Cameron Watkins


  5. 5 lakersfanboy
    December 27, 2007 at 6:09 am

    I don’t think so… Kobe looks happy with his career in the Lakers. There is no way he would agree on the trade.

  6. 6 lakersfanboy
    December 27, 2007 at 6:11 am

    Its a big loss for the Lakers if ever Kobe will agree on the said trade.

    Los Angeles Lakers Fan

  7. 7 312chill
    December 28, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    I agree with you now. I don’t think Kobe is going anywhere, this season at least and it would be a great loss for the Lakers to lose Kobe no matter what they get in return. Given the development of the Lakers young players I think LAL fans can relax.

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