BASELESS NBA TRADE SPECULATION: Amar'e Stoudemire For Kobe Bryant
The two top paid players in the NBA aren't LeBron or Durant. In fact, the highest paid ballers in the league aren't even top 20 players. Kobe, at 36, and Amar'e at 31, are both on the back end of their careers and facing nagging injuries that have made them rather one dimensional. Kobe can't jump. Amar'e can barely pivot.
Both make $23 million this season. Both are injury risks. Swap 'em. Here's why...
Amar'e's contract expires after this season, which would give the Lakers that much more cap room to make a play for multiple max players (both Boozer and Lin's contract come off the books at the end of the season as well). Kobe makes $25 million next year. Why not right the ship, correct that mistake of an extension Jimmy Buss gave Kobe last year, and send him packing in return for the freedom to sign multiple young, more durable, effective superstars to pair with Julius Randle going forward?
UPSIDE: Lakers can make a play for LaMarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo, and/or Kawhi Leonard. Also, will undoubtedly get top five pick in 2015 NBA Draft.
DOWNSIDE: Everyone will be pissed that Kobe finishes his career in New York.
On the Knicks side this makes sense, as well. Not only do the Knicks get a legitimate shooting guard that can split time with J.R. Smith, but they get a guy who knows the triangle, Derek Fisher and Phil Jackson better than ANYONE ON THE PLANET. Kobe can help teach the system to Carmelo, who's admittedly struggling to transition his game to the system. Additionally, the Knicks get $25 million in free cap room summer '16 to make a run at Kevin Durant.
UPSIDE: The Knicks get a veteran presence they desperately need to make a playoff push in a very weak conference, plus he's a proven scorer who can help implement their new offensive system.
DOWNSIDE: Kobe could just be a huge pain in the ass, ruing chemistry and further handcuffing the Knicks to a huge contract in a year they could be signing young free agents.
Let us know what you think by voting below, or send your insults at me on Twitter (@_jakeodonnell).
Photo via Getty
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