With the 2016 NBA trade deadline a little more than 24 hours away, rumors are heating up regarding many of the league’s most talented players. While it is no surprise that Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, and Dwight Howard have been mentioned in many of the rumored deals, Kobe Bryant’s name has been thrown around over the past day. In the fantasy deal, put together by impatient NBA fans waiting for a big trade to be announced, Kobe Bryant would be traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for their entire roster.
While there is no actual merit to this deal happening in the real world, it does make sense financially on paper. And that is really a testament to what the Philadelphia 76ers are doing as an organization. As seen by a graphic tweeted by Bleacher Report, the 76ers’ entire roster of 15 players will only make slightly over $7 million more than Kobe Bryant will this year.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 16, 2016
While the tweet from Bleacher Report is getting the most amount of attention, it appears as though the fun trade rumor may have started on Reddit. As seen in the post, the author jokes that the trade would work for both teams.
“Lakers can stockpile more young players, and Kobe gets to play 1v5 like he always wanted to.”
And he is right. The Los Angeles Lakers would love to add young players such as Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, and Jahlil Okafor at minuscule salaries. While Kobe Bryant is a legend and one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA, his play this season is not exactly helping the Lakers’ young core get better. If anything, he is hurting the development of the young guys.
While the Philadelphia 76ers have been blatantly tanking over the past few seasons for more high draft picks, they have not exactly made any progress. With an awful record of 8-45, the 76ers are going to receive another top pick in a front-loaded 2016 NBA draft. While the 76ers have not been able to win the lottery over the past few seasons, they are looking to get lucky this year so they can draft Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram. Maybe it’s time for the 76ers to cut their losses with the tank and go for it this year with a broken-down Kobe Bryant?
Getting back to reality, the deal actually works on the NBA trade machine, courtesy of ESPN.
While the posted trade machine deal only lists 14 players on the 76ers’ roster compared to the 15 that Bleacher Report noted, the trade still works from a financial perspective. Interestingly enough, the analysis actually say the Philadelphia 76ers will only lose 16 wins this year from the trade. For a team that is probably only going to win three more games the rest of the season with their current roster, it is unlikely they are going to get anywhere close to 16 more victories anyway.
Either way, the trade machine shows how poor the 76ers’ roster is at the moment. The Lakers would only gain six additional victories if the trade was completed. While the Philadelphia 76ers have a solid young core of Okafor and Noel, the rest of the roster is made up of players that probably should not even be in the NBA. Joel Embiid more than likely has the most potential out of any of the other guys, but he may not ever play a game in the NBA with his constant injury issues.
NBA trade rumors will continue to swirl until tomorrow’s 3 p.m. deadline. While the Kobe Bryant to Philadelphia 76ers trade for their entire roster is pure fantasy and will never happen, it probably has as much merit as some of the other speculated deals that we have been seeing.
[Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]