Chad Ford of ESPN wrote up an updated Kobe article. He makes some interesting points. You will need ESPN insider to read the entire article, but here is how it ends:
ESPN: The Lakers want several young players to make the trade work. Trading away young, inexpensive talent is disruptive to a team at best and devastating at worst. Third, such a trade would be a gamble, and NBA teams are generally risk-averse, as we saw at the last trade deadline. Most GMs prefer to stick with the status quo. Taking risks invites scrutiny from the media and fans, and tends to hasten a GM’s dismissal, many feel.
Doing nothing is simply safer. Fourth, there is the straightforward question of talent: As great as Bryant is, can he replace the talent a team would have to give up? And if a team gives up too much to acquire Kobe, that team would be no more equipped to compete for a championship than the Lakers are, which would potentially start the cycle all over again, with Bryant’s unhappiness dominating the team.
What can make a trade work? Kobe could drop his no-trade clause (and promise to rescind his 15 percent trade kicker to make a trade work), which would theoretically allow for more teams to consider a deal. Or the Lakers could drop their asking price, accepting a deal for cap relief and/or veterans that help them compete right away. Or a team could get off to a slow start (such as Chicago’s disappointing 0-3 start) and raise its offer. But if the status quo holds, teams will have to look forward to the summer of 2009, when Bryant can opt out of his contract at the age of 31. By then our eyes and hearts will likely have caught up with what the numbers and logic are already telling us: Kobe Bryant is a great player, but in a team sport like basketball he lacks the ability, on his own, to deliver an NBA championship.