Magic says Kobe trade won’t happen because Bulls won’t include forward.
Chicago Sun-Times: Bulls general manager John Paxson didn’t travel with the team Tuesday to New Jersey, where the Bulls open the season tonight against the Nets.
Paxson had plenty of work to do at home, including trade negotiations with the Los Angeles Lakers for Kobe Bryant. But those talks seemed to have lost some momentum.
Lakers vice president Magic Johnson said the deal isn’t going to happen.
”A deal can’t get done because they won’t include [Luol] Deng,” Johnson said Tuesday on TNT. ”And without Deng, a deal can’t get done.”
Johnson also hinted that talks of bringing Indiana Pacers All-Star Jermaine O’Neal to the Lakers to join Bryant have resurfaced.
Paxson also had to deal with a contract extension for Deng.
Today is the league deadline for Deng and Ben Gordon to sign such extensions. Gordon’s asking price is believed to be well more than the team’s offer of five years and $50 million.
Johnson said the Bulls and Lakers could not put together a trade that would satisfy the league’s money requirement for such a deal. The total salaries of the players sent to Los Angeles for Bryant must be within 15 percent of the $19 million Bryant will make this season.