On Monday, our ESPN.com panel debated what's going on with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
Let's take it a step further today and explore exactly what L.A. could get in return for its superstar.
First, three points:
1. The Lakers aren't giving Bryant away. In other words, they won't take back another team's junk.
They need at least one All-Star-type player, young players with potential, draft picks and expiring contracts. I don't think Jerry Buss is in the mood for a fire sale.
2. Bryant's not going to approve a trade to a team that can't compete for a championship with him on the roster. So if the trade depletes a team, he's not going to approve it.
At the same time, I think we shouldn't get too hung up on what we think Bryant wants in terms of market size and other factors. Sure, in a perfect world, he'd love to play in New York. But the Knicks have little of value to give back in return. I think that Bryant is looking for a chance to win a title.
(One side point: I think both Bryant and Buss would prefer that Bryant go to the East. But that's not set in stone if the right deal comes along.)
Bryant makes roughly $19.5 million this season, and any team over the cap that does a deal with L.A. has to get within 25 percent and $100,000 of that amount to make it happen.
Given these three points, it won't be easy to trade Bryant. Only a few teams have what it takes to get him.
Who are they? Here are the five teams that have the best shot at landing Bryant, based on the criteria above.