maybe Kobe steps aside a bit to let someone else do the heavy lifting and instead focuses more so on developing the rookie to takeover as the face of the franchise 3-5 years from now. Even Kobe can't deny that his body is breaking down rapidly. It could be a Kobe/Shaq type of thing with Melo being Shaq and soon the young guy takes over.
How so? His skills don't complement Kobe at all unless one of them is happy to be the standing 3 point shooter. Both are ISO scorers and mediocre defenders.
Melo paired with the Lakers upcoming rookie and Kobe could be very interesting...
Reviewing the Melo speculation, here are some possible landing places:
Knicks: Can pay him the most money and was Melo's chosen location as well as his hometown. But the Knicks are a bad team with little chance to improve until 2015 due to cap issues. The question is whether Melo is willing to sacrifice another year of him prime on a bad team.
Lakers: Certainly he'd like to play in the LA market but could he co-exist with Kobe? Could they obtain enough other pieces to contend?
Bulls: On paper probably the best fit but there are many questions. Bulls would have to amnesty Boozer and probably salary dump Gibson and maybe others to afford him. Rose's knees are a concern. Also, if he leaves NY, he'd probably prefer a warmer climate than Chicago.
Heat: I've read speculation about Miami but it doesn't make sense to me. I don't see LeBron leaving or Wade or Bosh being replaced by Melo. Doesn't seem realistic.
Who else? Dallas maybe?
Chicago would be a fantastic fit. As much as I would love him in Houston I don't see the fit either.
Even if Kobe gives up shots (I'll leave that one alone), you've still got two guys who essentially play the same role even though they play different positions- wing who specializes in iso scoring and plays mediocre-to-terrible defense. I think that creates a lot of problems. And it also might limit their draft options, especially if Kobe wants to have a shot at another ring. No Parker for sure, no Wiggins probably. And if they don't get a pick in the top 7 they're in trouble, although they might be able to lock that in if they don't win more than a couple more games.
Melo will play much more at the 4 than the 3 going forward, he absolutely abuses opposing power forwards and his defense is much less of an issue near the hoop than it is in space.
I really feel like Melo has been overrated for so long, that hes become significantly underrated. He's 8th in the NBA in PER and is really nowhere near the defensive liability he was in his younger days. He's been arguably the 3rd or 4th best player in the NBA this year.