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NBA GM on Kobe’s market value in trade: ‘Zero.’

Aug 24, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is under contract with the Lakers for two more seasons and $48.5 million, a deal which he and the team were both widely criticized for agreeing to under the circumstances.

The thinking was that Bryant should have taken a far more substantial discount in the twilight of his career, in order for the team to have the cap space necessary to add enough talent around him so that L.A. could compete for a title in one of his final two years.

Instead, the Lakers repaid Bryant for his past contributions more than they did extend him for what his current market value would be. There is no scenario where L.A. would consider trading Bryant, and no scenario where he would want that to happen. But in the event something were to unexpectedly (and drastically) change between now and when Bryant chooses to retire, at least one GM believes that the Lakers wouldn’t have too many options.

From Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated:

Seven months after he ruptured his left Achilles ­tendon—and three weeks before he fractured his left ­kneecap—Bryant­ signed a $48.5 million, two-year deal. The contract, widely derided as the worst in the game, makes Bryant nearly impossible to move, even were the Lakers to try. Asked about Kobe’s value on the market, one GM answers definitively: “Zero. Look at that number. Who takes him?”

This is by design, of course. It ensures that Bryant accomplishes something very few pro athletes have: playing an entire career with one team. Bryant’s plan is to retire in two years, though he says he reserves the right to change his mind. Thus one of the game’s greatest players and one of its two fiercest ­competitors—Michael­ Jordan being the ­other—will likely exit the league laboring for an undermanned squad in a stacked conference.

This seems somewhat obvious, but you really can never say never.

There have been plenty of contracts far worse than Bryant’s that have been traded over the years (the Rashard Lewis for Gilbert Arenas deal comes to mind), and when you consider that Bryant’s is a deal that expires after next season, which would be of value to a team trying to rebuild by clearing space on the roster, it’s certainly not impossible to envision.

Except, of course, for the fact that neither Bryant nor the Lakers will ever even consider it.

  1. blueintown - Aug 24, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    PBT must have a patent on telling readers in the tease how irrelevant their stories are.

  2. philyeagles5 - Aug 24, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Duh.

  3. luz56 - Aug 24, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    What a stupid story about something that is in a fantasy world only….

  4. antistratfordian - Aug 24, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    Well no kidding.

    Kobe is not really a fierce competitor on a level different than any other fierce competitors in the league – the difference is he’s also an enormous narcissistic a-hole – and it’s easy to mistake that for competitiveness in sports.

    • blackman24 - Aug 24, 2014 at 6:29 PM

      The hate and obsession for Kobe between you and SF18 is tremendous. Your posts use to at least have some substance on ESPN, yes I remember you Anti, but nowadays they are worthless and dry as paint.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 24, 2014 at 7:46 PM

        “but nowadays they are worthless and dry as paint.”

        That’s hilarious. I was even more honest on ESPN. And over there Lakers fans were private messaging me death threats over Kobe. I haven’t had any such reaction here. But I’ve mellowed a little bit as I’ve aged.

        My comments here are accurate though. Kobe suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 24, 2014 at 7:52 PM

        Oh, and remember how on ESPN how I would tell those haters that they would remember my name? I said that when LeBron ascended to GOAT pantheon status that they would think back and remember how that dude antistratfordian was right all along.

        So… of course you remember me.

      • therealhtj - Aug 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        You’re pretty much spot on Anti. Kobe has NPD or something thereabouts. His contract is untradeable, unjustifiable, and any other un- you can think of. His last one was too.

        And Lebron is already the undeniable GOAT – of gravy training.

  5. smackingfools - Aug 24, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    Guarantee you he will be a top 5 scorer this year with 27+ a game.

  6. El Pollo Loco - Aug 24, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    If Al Davis were still alive and owned an NBA team he’d trade for him and sign him to a max deal.

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 24, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      Well, Kobe does already have the highest salary in the league for this coming season…

  7. boltsup - Aug 24, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Who gives a bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!- Laker Gang Nation

  8. jetslakersfan - Aug 24, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    Who this GM? I’m not saying he wrong,but if your going to talk be a man and put your name on it.

  9. 88heatnation - Aug 24, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Kobe will put up James Harden numbers this season 25pts but on 43% shooting.

  10. themagicfanguy - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    You mean the Lebron who hasn’t won as many rings as Kobe? THAT Lebron? Oh okay, just making sure!

  11. themagicfanguy - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    Nobody cares about your name. You’re nothing but a coward who can’t read well enough to get by.

  12. themagicfanguy - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Btw,Lebron is an absolute joke to real basketball fans. What a poser.

  13. loungefly74 - Aug 25, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    non-story. Kobe has cemented himself as a Laker legend with the rare feat of playing just for one team. I’m gonna miss him on the court when he retires…

  14. tangovader - Aug 25, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    Seriously though, what’s up with his hairline? Looks like it moves back a half-inch in the picture every time I look away and look back.

  15. pistolpete0903 - Aug 26, 2014 at 5:02 AM

    I could be wrong on this one.
    GM’s (on the behest on the owner) sometimes make a call based on the player’s marketability rather than his basketball ability (the easiest example which comes to mind was Jeremy Lin who was paid a lot by Houston because he could be marketed to a sizeable Asian market in USA as well as Asia)
    Same thing goes for Kobe; if I remember correctly they were in contract negotiations with Time warner.
    The Lakers are the big show in LA and Kobe is the face of Lakers. Having lived in LA for a couple of years, I have seen his huge fan following. Even if his basketball skills are on the decline, he sells tickets, jerseys and might have gotten the Lakers the biggest local TV deal (north of $200 million/yr) in the NBA.
    The $48 million he owed is no chump change, but not that big an amount he brings (or could still bring in).

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