Originally Posted by TheNextStep
We traded the wrong guy, plain and simple.
In an off-season that saw Tracy McGrady, Steve Francis, and Vince Carter all get moved, you don't think we could have brought one of those cats in to be the Robin to Shaq's Batman in exchange for Kobe? Hell, we do that, and we're odds on favorites for the Championship again this year.
We traded the wrong guy.
Kobe was a free agent, so he couldn't be traded. He could just walk away. The only way a trade could have worked was if they did a sign and trade. But Kobe would have had to agree to it. He would have had total control of the trade. Chances are it wasn't going to happen.
If Kobe was just going to walk the Lakerrs could not have replaced him. They wouldn't have the cap space to bring in another player that was anywhere near Kobe. The NBA cap doesn't work like that. If Kobe just walked it would have been Shaq and a bunch of nobodies. No Malone. No Fisher. Who knows what would have happened with Peyton. The Lakers would have been sunk if Kobe walked.
I'd say their biggest mistake was not getting enough in the Shaq trade. I don't see how they trade him and not get an all star in return.