1. The whole mess is done with 2. Depending on the amount they set, it might save Bryant some money compared to defense costs 3. Kobe will always be able to say he paid to dispose of it, and that will likely be how this is largely remembered...if the case proceeded, there's always a chance he could be found liable, and then he's really tarnished
ESPN Radio here in Los Angeles has been speculating (what else did you expect from sports radio??) on this settlement all day.
They had ESPN legal analyst Roger Kossak(sp?) on earlier & he says it's probably in Kobe's best interest to pay the girl to make this go away. In a civil trial, virtually nothing is off limits. The accuser's attorneys can dig up/bring up/ask him about anything they want. Of course that works against the accuser too, but Kobe has more to lose in that scenario than she does (In Roger's opinion).
To be somewhat kind to the Knicks, Mutombo's max contract is on the Nets books, which is a key reason why they ended up with no cash for Martin. And of course, 3 max contracts for Dallas (4 at the end of last season)