Report: Lakers nearly traded Kobe Bryant to Mavs before deal was killed by last-second effort - Lakers Daily

Report: Lakers nearly traded Kobe Bryant to Mavs before deal was killed by last-second effort

Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki

The summer of 2007 was a time of discontent for Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers.

The team had failed to get past the first round of the playoffs in three years, and thus Bryant demanded a trade.

Now, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has admitted that his team had a trade agreement with L.A. that would’ve brought Bryant to Texas.

After Shaquille O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in the summer of 2004, the Purple and Gold fell on hard times. They failed to make the playoffs in the 2004-05 season and then were handily defeated in the first round of the postseason in the two following years.

When the 2007-08 season started without Bryant getting dealt, it looked like the Lakers were doomed to at least a couple more seasons of mediocrity.

Instead, young players such as Andrew Bynum emerged, and then the team acquired All-Star Pau Gasol at midseason. As a result, the Lakers were amongst the NBA’s elite teams once again.

They advanced to the NBA Finals in 2008, losing in six games to the Boston Celtics. They subsequently won championships in the following two seasons.

If Bryant had indeed gotten traded to the Mavs, basketball history would have been rewritten in a major way.