Kobe being the competitor he is, this is the exact answer I expect from him. The Lakers need Bryant to be at full strength when he returns from his knee injury, if they even want to have an outside shot at an 8th seed in the playoffs. LA has been competitive, but that hasn’t resulted in winning games as of late. There are no moral victories in basketball, and the Lakers are slowly sinking without Kobe on the floor night in and night out.
If this comes to fruition, I love this move for LA. Jerryd Bayless is a good scorer, who’s capable of putting up 20+ points any given night when he gets hot. That is something the Lakers have lacked for a long time. This trade really works for both clubs. Memphis gets a great 3 point shooter in Jodie Meeks and LA gets their scoring guard. Stay tuned for more details on this proposed trade.
This is extremely disappointing for Laker fans and Kobe himself. He was just finding his groove and now he has to miss some more extended time. That’s also if it heals correctly. Hopefully this isn’t a lingering issue Kobe has the rest of the year because the Lakers have no hope for the playoffs, without him. Playoffs were a long shot even with Bryant. Let’s hope the “Black Mamba” can come back 100%, because the NBA isn’t the same without him suiting up every night.
With all the trade speculation in the NBA. 1 name being tossed in every trade conversation is Chicago Bulls Luol Deng. The Bulls are rumored to be anticipating a rebuilding process. That means their best players are expendable, with the exception of franchise player, Derrick Rose.
Deng has been having the best year of his career this year. Averaging 19.3 ppg (career high) 7.1 rpg 4.2 apg, the talented forward’s trade value is at an all time high. With that being said, here’s a list of 5 teams that should trade for him and would be a perfect fit.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
This would be a perfect fit for the Cleveland. They have been seeking a scoring wing ever since Lebron James left town. Deng would also bring leadership, to this young team. The Cavs have been on a roll as of late, acquiring Luol Deng, could prove vital to a late playoff push, in the weak eastern conference.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
I’m not sure how the Lakers would pull this off, but they have a knack for pulling off unexpected trades. This would make Kobe a very happy man and put the Lakers in a great position, not just this year, but in the near future as well. With Deng’s ability to stretch the floor, in D’Antoni’s offense, he could average 25 points easily.
3. Memphis Grizzlies
After giving up OJ Mayo and Rudy Gay, Memphis has lacked scorers. Luol Deng would give the under rated Mike Conley a reliable scoring option to pass to. Grizzlies are a hard nosed, blue collar team, and Deng would fit right in.
4. Dallas Mavericks
If Mark Cuban could pull this deal off, the Mavericks would be considered a contender to go to the western conference finals. Adding Luol Deng into the fold alongside Monte Ellis (who’s playing like a star this year) and life long Maverick Dirk Nowitzki, would give Dallas a triple threat that would be hard to stop for anybody.
5. New York Knicks
I know your probably thinking its a bad fit, because they have Carmelo Anthony. But this would be a fantastic trade for the Knicks. Deng would bring a good presence to a dysfunctional locker room, that’s littered with bad attitudes and selfish players. Deng is a true “team” guy, and the Knicks would benefit from bringing him on board. Luol’s primary role would be the sixth man and times where Deng is starting at the wing, Carmelo could play the 4 position. It would work perfect. New York doesn’t typically make the “smart” move, so don’t expect this deal to happen, but if it did, Knicks would be a much better team.
- Bulls GM still hopes to re-sign Luol Deng (probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- What is Luol Deng worth? (basketballtalk15.wordpress.com)
- Deng realizes he could be traded as Bulls fall to Rockets 109-94 (suntimes.com)
Team Leaders: Lakers
Kobe Bryant 14.5 ppg 5.0 rpg 3.5 apg 1.0 apg
Pau Gasol 14.4 ppg 9.5 rpg 3.0 apg 1.1 bpg
Nick Young 14.3 ppg 2.1 rpg 1.4 apg 1.0 apg
Team Leaders: Thunder
Kevin Durant 28.4 ppg 8.2 rpg 4.9 apg 1.4 apg
Russell Westbrook 21.2 ppg 4.9 rpg 6.4 apg 2.0 spg
Serge Ibaka 14.8 ppg 9.8 rpg 2.4 bpg