Kobe Bryant still has an offer on the table from Italian squad Virtus Bologna — one modified from the original offer to allow for a range of options — and he and his agent will have a conference call with the team to discuss it, according to various reports out of Europe.
That is all very different than Kobe actually accepting the deal, although the options to play one or a handful of games could be appealing. Then again, reports are he is interested in a full season (with an NBA opt out).
First there is the report of how the offer has changed, via EuroBasket (hat tip to I am a GM):
Kobe’s agent Rob Pelinka said that his client would like to play the entire season, obviously with an NBA escape, with the Italian team and not only few games as first reported. Bologna’s president Sabatini took the opportunity to have arguably the best player in the world and has put on the table $5 million for the entire season. Also Bryant would like to give part of his income for benefaction.
The offer reportedly is $500,000 for one game, $650,000 a game if he stays for a month and $5 million if he stays for the season.
That was enough to get the sides talking, according to Sportando.
The Italian team also said that Rob Pelinka answered to the proposal made by Virtus and that tonight there will be a conference call between the two parts.
Again, all that is a long way from Kobe accepting a deal. That said, he does have a love of Italy and ties to the country (he spent part of his youth there while his father played professionally in Italy) and speaks fluent Italian. This makes more sense than him playing in Turkey.
But it’s still a long shot. Smart money has Kobe staying in Orange County — behind the Orange Curtain — until the lockout ends.
Ty Lawson is headed to the Kings, as first reported on Monday. The team made the move official on Wednesday with a press release, and USA Today‘s Sam Amick offers up another important piece of information: Lawson’s deal is not guaranteed, making it essentially a make-good camp invite.
It’s staggering how Lawson went from a borderline All-Star level point guard in 2012-13 to signing a non-guaranteed one-year deal with a lottery team three years later. His off-the-court issues have contributed to that, and he didn’t produce last season in Houston and Indiana. Still, he should have a pretty good chance of making the Kings’ roster, with Seth Curry and Rajon Rondo gone and Darren Collison their only proven point guard. They need depth there.
When Ben Simmons declared for the NBA draft this spring, he signed with LeBron James‘ Klutch Sports group for representation. That association would appear to have its advantages for the No. 1 overall pick, including the opportunity to work out with James and Dwyane Wade during the offseason. Wade posted a group photo on Instagram on Wednesday afternoon:
Also, it’s pretty staggering to see Simmons standing next to James and realizing that he’s bigger and taller.
Thanks to a match from an anonymous donor, beloved TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager was able to receive his third bone-marrow transplant since 2014 in an extended battle with leukemia. Sager’s son, Craig Sager II, shared a photo on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon of his father undergoing the transplant, appearing to be in good spirits as usual.
Our continued well wishes go out to Sager and his family in his recovery, and we hope to see him back on the sidelines this season.
Last season, the Sacramento Kings signed Seth Curry, brother of Stephen Curry. He left this summer for Dallas, and now the Kings are working out the brother of the other Splash Brother — Klay Thompson‘s brother Mychel — according to international basketball reporter David Pick.
Mychel Thompson’s only NBA experience is five games with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011-12. He spent some time in the D-League after that, and played in Italy during the 2015-16 season.