NBA Trades: Los Angeles Lakers Almost Dealt Kobe Bryant to Detroit Pistons in 2007
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The Los Angeles Lakers almost parted ways with Kobe Bryant in 2007 when the superstar guard asked for a trade. (Photo : Getty)
Kobe Bryant will retire without playing for another team other than the Los Angeles Lakers, but a report revealed the superstar guard was on his way to another squad back in 2007.
Fresh from two consecutive playoff disappointments, Bryant asked the Lakers to trade him in 2007 in the hope of winning his first title without Shaquille O’Neal on his side.
According to CBS Sports, the Lakers already had a deal in place that would send Bryant to the Detroit Pistons. The late Jerry Buss already gave general manager Mitch Kupchak the go-signal to move Bryant.
One source told CBS Sports that the Lakers and the Pistons already agreed to the terms of a blockbuster deal and was on the verge of informing the league and rival teams about the transaction.
“The deal was done,” a source privy to the negotiation said of the blockbuster deal. “We were just waiting to set up the conference call with the league office.”
Bryant had a no-trade clause in his contract back then and has control on his destination. The Chicago Bulls were mentioned as his top choice, but he reportedly gave a conditional go-signal to the Lakers when informed about the deal with the Pistons.
According to another source, Bryant will waive his no-trade clause if he will be traded to the Pistons without involving Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace in the transaction. The approved deal between the two teams would send Bryant to the Pistons in exchange for Rip Hamilton, Rodney Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and two first-round picks.
Hours before the scheduled conference call with the league, Bryant reportedly had a change of heart and rejected the deal. Hamilton also said that he thought the deal was already sealed based on a conversation with Bryant.
“I think it was close to happening,” Hamilton said. “When I had that conversation with [Kobe], he told me about the trade, so I knew they were thinking about it. But at the end of the day, he had that no-trade kicker.”
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