We’re learning about a blockbuster offer the Lakers allegedly made to the Cavaliers back in 2007 involving Kobe Bryant and LeBron James:
According to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the event, the Lakers once contacted the Cavs to investigate whether Cleveland would make James available in a possible Bryant trade.
In the summer of 2007, Bryant was 28 years old and coming off a season where he averaged 32 points a game and shot 46 percent from the field. He had three rings and would win his first Most Valuable Player award the following season.
Bryant was under contract for two more seasons, but was frustrated with the Lakers after three consecutive subpar seasons following the Shaquille O’Neal trade.
“At that time, the Lakers had to do something. I was just losing faith in what they were trying to do. It was like I was a meal ticket,” Bryant told ESPN’s Baxter Holmes this week. “You come out and score 40, 50 points, fill the seats, we’re going to keep the payroll at a minimum, generate revenue. It’s like, look, listen, I am not with that, dude. I have to win without Shaq. I’ve got to do it. We’ve got to do something.”
The Cavs said that James, indeed, was untouchable, sources said. Then they attempted to make the Lakers a different offer for Bryant, offering anyone else on their team in a package for him. The Lakers had no interest.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak declined comment on the matter this week.
For Bryant, who had a no-trade clause in his contract, the answer was simple.
“I never would’ve approved it. Never. The trade to go to Cleveland? Never,” Bryant told Holmes. “That wasn’t one of the teams that was on my list. It was Chicago, San Antonio [or] Phoenix.”
Hey Mitch, we can’t move LeBron but how about Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Larry Hughes and Boobie Gibson?