Mark Cuban announced tonight that the Mavericks had no chance to get Kobe. That comes as no surprise to anyone who has had even minimal dealings with LA owner Jerry Buss. When Cuban said that Dirk Nowitki was untouchable, that ended any chance of a deal. The Mavericks could offer every other player on their team and you can be sure that some team in the East could match that offer, and that's where Bryant would go. The Lakers have no desire to send Kobe to a Western Conference team where he would make their life difficult. The No. 1 choice has always been to send him East, just as they did Shaq.
If and when the Lakers trade Bryant, it is very unlikely they will get value for him. Perhaps if they could work out a deal with Washington and get Gilbert Arenas, it would come close to value. But as long as teams are saying that players like Dirk and Luol Deng are untouchable, then the Lakers will be in no hurry to make a deal.
And no one knows that more than Mark Cuban.
-- Jan Hubbard