The Lakers are currently among the worst teams in the league and there’s rumors about potential trades.
Kobe trade rumors heat up
Even though it’s highly unlikely Kobe Bryant will be traded due to a number of reasons, there’s been rumors saying otherwise.
An ESPN article that posits a Bryant trade says: “The hopeless romantic in me says no, that Kobe should finish his career as a Laker and play all 20 seasons of his NBA career in Los Angeles. The basketball realist in me says yes. The Lakers are going to be one of the worst teams in the NBA this season with Kobe and all signs point to them being pretty bad next season, too.”
“As long as Kobe’s contract is on the books for $25 million per season, it’s going to be hard for the Lakers to begin rebuilding for the future. So if they can get a package of players and picks that makes sense, they should certainly look into it. Realistically, I don’t think that they ever will, though, and Kobe will retire a Laker.”
There’s been rumors linking Bryant with the New York Knicks, but those seem far-fetched at best.
The New York Daily News spoke with a few insiders as to whether Bryant could land in New York.
“I don’t see it happening,” said an Eastern Conference general manager who was not named. “I’d put it at minus 20%.”
The same GM added: “The only way this happens is if Kobe goes to the Lakers and asked to be traded.”
The main reason Bryant won’t be traded is because even though the Lakers are among the worst teams in the league, he puts people in seats and keeps the team relevant due to his star power.
Bryant, 36, has also stressed that he’d remain loyal to the Lakers–where he’s won five championships–and wants to retire with the organization.
But Rondo to Lakers?
More rumors coming out of the pipeline say Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, who is set to be a free agent next year, could be added to the Lakers.
According to Lakers Nation, the team will make an attempt at getting him to Los Angeles.
“Several rival executives believe the Lakers will make a strong run at Rondo next summer, and it’s easy to see why. Rondo is young (28), plays a critical position and shares the same win-at-all-bleeping-cost attitude as Bryant. The Celtics are rebuilding and have a young playmaker in Marcus Smart, which may limit their desire to hand Rondo max money,” writes Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated this week.
In previous seasons, there’s been rumors of Rondo heading to the Lakers although those obviously never came to fruition.
Coach Scott wants balance with Lin
Amid the team’s dreadful start, Coach Byron Scott is looking for answers.
“I think there was a timeout last game where I pointed at Kobe and I said, ‘I know how great this guy is, but you guys have got to play basketball,'” Scott said Thursday, via ESPN. “‘You can’t look at him every single time and try to give him the ball. You’ve got to take shots that are there. You can’t pass up shots.’
“They can’t be afraid to fail,” Scott added of his teammates. “That’s the biggest thing. You’ve just got to be able to go out there and play.”
“Well, I think use a lot of guys, [Carlos] Boozer and Jeremy Lin, to create opportunities,” Bryant added, “which means running [the offense] through them a lot and moving me off the ball and getting picks off the ball, as opposed to me initiating the offense and then controlling everything from there.
“I think it has to be Jeremy and Boozer and those guys making plays, and we’re setting picks off the ball. It keeps them involved.”
Lakers have 2nd-most expensive tickets
The average price of an NBA ticket increased 3.4 percent this season to $53.98.
According to Team Marketing Report on Friday, the New York Knicks have the highest average at $129.38, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers at $102.25, the Chicago Bulls at $82.33 and the Miami Heat at $78.30. Among those four teams, only the Bulls raised prices.
New Orleans ($30.20) and Charlotte ($30.60) had the lowest averages. The Los Angeles Clippers had the steepest increase, 24.3 percent to $78.43. Detroit dropped its average 3.2 percent to $38.80.
The average NFL ticket price is $84.43 this season, and the NHL average is $62.18. Major League Baseball’s average was $27.93 this year.
TMR also calculated a Fan Cost Index — four average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking, two programs and two adult-size caps. The index rose 2.6 percent to $333.58 for the NBA. The Knicks were the high team at $676.42 and Charlotte the low at $212.40.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.