Kobe Bryant trade talk will continue loudly until Kobe Bryant is traded, which could very well be sometime this season. There are some favored destinations. For myriad obvious reasons, Sacramento is not one of them.
We don't need to discuss most of the obvious reasons. The one which can be analyzed, stuck in a small vault with an M-80 and a stick of Spearmint, and forgotten: The Kings don't have a remotely viable trade package. Here's the best the Kings could come up with, and it wouldn't happen until next June:
This requires a) the Kings to get a top-10 (maybe higher) in the draft; b) Ron Artest to pick up his player option for 2008-09 (unlikely) or the Kings to extend Artest for a few years (more unlikely); c) Brad Miller to be playing much better than he did last year; d) Mike Bibby to be playing well, but not so well he'd execute his early termination option next summer; and e) Kevin Martin to be an All-Star this year.
The Lakers aren't giving up Kobe without getting at least an All-Star in return. Bibby represents both a talented starting PG and an expiring contract. Kobe isn't going to a bare team, so you'd need Artest back and a salary-eater like Miller playing well. (That still probably isn't enough for Kobe.) The first-rounder is more than necessary from the Lakers' standpoint, but kills the Kings' chances of building an actual team with Kobe.
That's the best possible offer for both sides, and it doesn't even come within 1,000 miles of what either team would do. Sacramento won't mortgage its future for one year of Kobe. Los Angeles won't send Kobe within the division for Kevin Martin and a pick. It won't happen, and both teams' fans should be glad.
Without even considering all those other obvious reasons it couldn't work -- Sacramento isn't New York or Chicago; the Maloofs detest the Lakers; Kobe could very well detest Sacramento; Kobe should be gone by next June -- there's no reasonable package and the trade talk is moot. So let's not start, ok?