Trade Rumors

At the time, O’Neal felt he was not getting the contractual respect the Lakers had afforded Bryant. “It was just two alpha males, the business aspect kicked in, and you know, I was getting older,” O’Neal says on the podcast. “So, you know, management was like ‘Hey, we know you’re getting older and we know you want this, but we want to give you that.’ And in my mind, I was like, ‘I’m not getting older. I don’t want that. I don’t want that,’ and they just wanted to move in a different direction.” For his part, Bryant says on the podcast the parting was practically inevitable. The result was the deal that sent Lamar Odom, Brian Grant and Caron Butler and a first-round pick to the Lakers, with O’Neal two summers later reveling in the Heat’s title. To this day, O’Neal insists he did not force the trade, even though his 2004 bluster indicated otherwise. “I definitely did not want to leave L.A.,” he says on the podcast.
via South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The Lakers absorbed Hibbert into their cap room in July, giving up just a 2019 second-round pick in a trade the team had lined up with the Indiana Pacers before they tried the free-agent market for bigger names like DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge. “We had him locked up,” said Buss. “Larry Bird, [Pacers president of basketball operations], is a man of his word, and he basically said he we have a deal … It was contingent on [the Lakers not signing a big dollar free agent].” “He was fine with that,” he continued. “Bird wanted to put the kid into a spotlight like this.”
via Los Angeles Times