Interesting stuff coming from the rumor page from Hoopsworld’s Eric Pincus. In today’s news, we read Kobe actually exercised his no-trade clause in a trade which would have brought Deng to Los Angeles and Kobe to Chicago.
Hoopsworld: For now it would appear the Kobe Bryant saga should quiet down after reaching a fevered pitch this past week. Statements from the Dallas Mavericks, Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls indicated none of the three franchises were in the hunt for the Los Angeles Lakers’ guard.
While the Mavericks and Wizards were essentially red herrings, Bryant had designated the Bulls as his team of choice. Bryant has the rare no-trade clause in his contract which gives him significant leverage in negotiations.
A source close to the situation says Bryant used his no-trade clause this week to veto a trade to the Bulls.
Chicago had been adamant they would not tear apart their core and bid against themselves to land Bryant. While Ben Gordon had always been available, the key piece the Lakers coveted was Luol Deng.
Chicago initially would not budge on Deng, but things changed late when extension talks with the Bulls’ forward did not progress as hoped. Briefly the door opened for the Lakers to make a Bryant for Deng and Gordon swap (along with other players to make contracts match).
Multiples sources say Bryant vetoed the deal, preferring to play alongside Deng in Chicago.