Oct 6, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) is defended by Denver Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo (10) during the second half at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Before you blow this whole thing out of proportion and rip me for believing the Los Angeles Lakers would actually trade away their franchise player, realize this is just a scenario I believe could help the Denver Nuggets not only during the regular season, but perhaps the playoffs. Acquiring Kobe Bryant could just do the trick.
Now I know the salary is a bit of a concern but let’s just forget about that part for right now. The one thing the Nuggets are truly missing right now is a go-to-scorer late in the game as we’ve seen for the past couple of years since Carmelo Anthony‘s departure. For example, Denver lost to the Sacramento Kings this past Tuesday night by the final score of 110-105. They failed to knock-down open jumpers and were held to just 38.7% percent shooting – not a recipe for success. Arron Afflalo, Danilo Gallinari, and Ty Lawson were all struggling from the field, which are their main sources of offense.
More from Denver Nuggets
- Denver Nuggets Steal Ducks Darling Bol Bol in Second Round
- Denver Nuggets: Season Grades for the 2018-19 Players
- Denver Nuggets: Reflections on an Incredible Season
- Denver Nuggets: 3 Things to do if they Win game 7
- Denver Nuggets: 3 Things to do if they Lose to Portland
Gallo hasn’t been the same for being out 18+ months after undergoing a torn ACL which is understandable; he will eventually get his feet under him. Relying on Ty Lawson for your game-winning shot isn’t ideal and the same goes for Wilson Chandler, Randy Foye, and Nate Robinson. Denver’s top-two options in my eyes to close out games right now are Kenneth Faried and Arron Afflalo – even that is kind of iffy.
Which brings up the topic of Kobe Bryant. Kobe’s beloved Lakers are currently 0-5 on the season and are on a one-way ticket to last place in the Western Conference. Los Angeles is in dire need of a rebuilding mode which their front-office refuses to acknowledge. Their roster is below-average on all sorts of levels and losing their first-round pick Julius Randle to season-ending injury certainly doesn’t help.
This doesn’t mean I’m discouraged with the Nuggets by any means as it’s still very early in the season. I like this roster Tim Connelly has put together but head coach Brian Shaw needs to realize he cannot play 12-13 players a night, he has to reduce it to the 10-11 range. Simply due to the fact that this team needs as much repetition as it can get, mainly with the four-players that were lost to season-ending injuries: Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee, J.J. Hickson, and Nate Robinson.
Denver does have some interesting trade chips if they are willing to do such a trade – maybe even sweeten it with a first-round pick. On the other hand, Kobe Bryant can still get the job done as we have seen thus far this season. In the Lakers 112-106 loss to Phoenix Tuesday night, Bryant led all-scorers with 39 points on 14-of-37 shooting. Now I know the number of shots is ridiculous, but Kobe is as clutch as they come.
There is a con to this trade, however. What if it doesn’t work out? What if Denver trades too many pieces away for a year or two of Kobe? Like noted in the first paragraph of this article, Denver needs a go-to-scorer down the stretch which makes Kobe an immediate target with his team struggling and his track record.
I love this team that Denver has and wouldn’t consider such a trade unless the wheels start to fall off. Until then, this is just an idea moving forward even if Kobe is untouchable when it comes to a trade as he’s said he’s loyal to LA. Heck, if such trade were to happen, Kobe would wind-up with Brian Shaw as his head coach; where he was an assistant coach to Bryant in LA under Phil Jackson.