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NBA insider reveals biggest trade that never happened: Kobe Bryant to the Detroit Pistons

Kobe Bryant
Credit: Sandy Hooper-USA TODAY

What if Kobe Bryant didn’t play his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers? Would the Hall of Famer still have five rings? Would he have more? We’ll never know, but there was one scenario where Bryant became very close to leaving the Lakers via trade.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Bryant once was nearly traded to the Detroit Pistons, and the trade agreement was reportedly already worked out between both teams.

The trade would have sent Tayshaun Prince, Rip Hamilton, and several first-round picks to Los Angeles in exchange for Bryant. While an agreement had been reached between Los Angeles and Detroit, the deal was contingent on Bryant’s approval.

As Woj noted, Bryant took some time to mull things over, before ultimately deciding he did not want to join the Pistons, or leave the Lakers. Team owner Jerry Buss may have been a deciding factor in helping Bryant realize he didn’t want to play for another team.

Woj calls it the biggest trade that never happened.

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