The Kobe conundrum: What's his real trade value?

When Kobe Bryant went public with his offseason trade request, the "Kobe sweepstakes" began, at least in the media.

What team wouldn't want the man often called the "best player in the league"?

Almost six months later, Bryant is still wearing the purple and gold of the Los Angeles Lakers, while teams such as the Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls have shown an unwillingness to offer what the Lakers would consider fair value.

Why are teams reluctant to make their best offer for Kobe?

I spoke to a number of NBA sources who have been engaged in or are familiar with the Bryant trade negotiations. Almost all evidence from these conversations points to this conclusion:

Bryant's trade value isn't nearly as high as he or the Lakers would like to think.

Here are four questions teams are trying to answer before acquiring Bryant: