Is Detroit in the Kobe Bryant mix?

From Steve Kyler on HOOPSWORLD:

A new suitor seems to have emerged according to a league source. This source admits the deal sounds more fan-based than team-based but says it's been making its way around and that's the Detroit Pistons. According to the source an offer of Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton could be what is on the table. If the Pistons are genuinely looking for a way to trump the Big Three in Boston cashing out Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun might be enough, especially considering how much the team has gushed about Amir Johnson. Pistons sources admit the idea is intriguing but could not confirm if the deal has legs, so at this point it could be exactly what it sounds like – a good idea, but until a Piston's source confirms it, be skeptical.

I'm skeptical, as well -- this almost certainly sounds like something that originated on talk radio. But, the salaries do match: Rip ($10 million) and Tayshaun ($8.675 million) will combine to make just under what Kobe ($19.49 million) is due. I'd hate to see Tay go, but Jarvis Hayes is a starting-caliber player. Detroit would lose depth, of course, but they'd gain perhaps the best player in the NBA, so I'm not sure Detroit would (or could, really) pass on this.

That said, I doubt the Lakers would pull the trigger, not unless there was something else added to the pot. And unless that "something else" is a couple of second-round picks, it's probably too much for Detroit to seriously get involved.

(Update: looks like PistonsNation found this first, as well as a creepy Rip Hamilton mask ...)

Other HOOPSWORLD articles of note: Bill Ingram caught up with Chauncey Billups and Jarvis Hayes (media player on the lower right).

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