Lakers and Pistons Had Agreed To Deal; Bryant Wouldn't Waive His No-Trade Clause

Published on May 25th, 2024 3:28 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The Black Mamba - Kobe Bryant - Legendary Lakers player. It was just before the start of the 2007-08 regular season, and the Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers had agreed to a shocking trade for Kobe Bryant.

Bryant, who was still in his 20s and in his prime, had just turned in the two best seasons of his career, averaging 35.4 points in 2005-06 and 31.6 points in 2006-07.

Bryant finished fourth in MVP voting in 2005-06, and third in MVP voting in 2006-07.

Kobe, however, was upset with the direction of the Lakers and wanted out.

The Lakers got crushed by the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the 2006-07 playoffs, losing 4-1. The losses were embarrassing, as the Lakers lost by 8, 28, 13 and 9 points, respectively.


The Lakers agreed that a change was necessary, and they agreed to a deal with the Detroit Pistons.

The trade would have sent Kobe to the Pistons in exchange for Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Amir Johnson and a first-round pick.

Kobe was interested in being dealt, though not to the Pistons.

Bryant would exercise his no-trade clause, and the deal never happened.


The Lakers would pivot and focus on building a team around Kobe.

This included trading for Pau Gasol, who was an integral part of the Lakers back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.

Kobe would respond to the near-trade by winning the MVP award in 2007-08, as the Lakers would finish 57-25 and make it to the NBA Finals.

In 2008-09 and 2009-10, the Lakers would win consecutive titles, cementing Bryant was one of the greatest players of all time.

These two titles almost didn't happen, however, as the Lakers very nearly traded away Kobe to the Detroit Pistons.

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