Reports out of Chicago are saying that a three-team trade is on the table for Kobe Bryant to approve within the next 48 hours. The trade includes the Bulls and Lakers and now also the Sacramento Kings. With Kings point guard Mike Bibby out six to ten weeks with a left thumb ligament injury and a roster of players either past their prime or vastly inexperienced, the Kings most likely are looking to shake up their roster.
The reports only mention Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Kobe Bryant, and Ron Artest as the primary members. So, I spent some time looking at possible three-way trades and here is the best that I could come up with:
Chicago gets: Kobe Bryant ($19,490,625) and Jordan Farmar ($1,009,560)
Sacramento gets: Ben Gordon ($4,881,669), Joakim Noah ($2,135,400), Viktor Khryapa ($1,928,598)
Los Angeles gets: Kirk Hinrich ($11,250,000), Ron Artest ($7,400,000), Adrian Griffin ($1,593,000), Chicago future first round pick.
With this trade the Bulls would automatically become a contender to win the championship. They would maintain a core of Luol Deng, Ben Wallace, Andres Nocioni, and add in Kobe Bryant. Role players such as Thabo Sefolosha and Joe Smith would also play a critical role. Although the Bulls currently constructed are a nice team that may compete for the Eastern conference title, this team post-Kobe trade would compete for the title. And as I always stress, each year your goal is exactly that -to compete for the championship.
In Sacramento and Los Angeles, this trade allows both teams to rebuild their roster without falling too hard. Sacramento gets another scorer to play next to Kevin Martin, another young big man in Noah, and cap flexiblity next season when Khryapa's contract expires. The Lakers acquire two starters and some flexibility for the future. Hinrich and Artest would team with Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom to create a nice core for the Lakers to build around.