The New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks and possibly Charlotte Hornets are all teams that could be interested in Kobe Bryant, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford.
The Los Angeles Lakers lost Julius Randle for the entire season on opening night and are expected to struggle to make the playoffs. The Lakers also get to keep their 2015 first round pick if it is in the top-5.
The Knicks are an especially interesting possibility due to his connection to Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher and Carmelo Anthony.
The Knicks could include young players like Iman Shumpert and/or Tim Hardaway Jr., along with a 2015 first rounder and they also have the expiring contracts of Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani.
“I don’t think Mitch has much choice but to find ways to lose,” one GM told ESPN. “They’re going to be bad anyway. You don’t want to be just good enough that you lose the pick and still miss the playoffs. I don’t think they have the assets to get good enough to make the playoffs and I don’t think they have the [expletive] to trade Kobe. It’s paradoxical, but right now losing seems like the only way to really get better.”
Bryant’s contract expires after the 15-16 NBA season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder visit the Portland Trail Blazers in what promises to be one of the best games of the night. These two teams are expected to battle for the Northwestern Division title this season and winning this game would send a clear message to the rest of the league.
The Thunder will go as far as Kevin Durant, the reigning MVP and 4-time scoring champion, can take them, but he will miss the first two months of the season because of a bone fracture in his right foot, so it will be up to Russell Westbrook to make up for Durant’s absence and keep them in a good place in the standings. Serge Ibaka can also help carry the load after averaging a career-high 15.1 points per game last season.