The Lakers expected to Kobe Bryant to be ready for training camp.
They won’t have to wait that long.
Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report:
Bryant has been medically cleared for all basketball activities, according to league sources.
Kobe was initially expected to be out nine months. He beat that by a couple weeks, surely a point of pride.
It’s remarkable Kobe has made it this far, and he deserves credit for his remarkable devotion to training.
But health remains an unavoidable concern for the 37-year-old. Few players who’ve missed so many games at Kobe’s age make it back, let alone successfully.
LeBron James has eliminated the Bulls from the playoffs four of the last six years.
Probably coincidentally, Chicago is seeking help from someone most famous for dunking on LeBron – Jordan Crawford.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Free-agent guard Jordan Crawford has reached agreement on a contract with the Chicago Bulls, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Crawford, who played in summer league with the Dallas Mavericks, will join the Bulls on a non-guaranteed training camp deal.
Crawford, who played four seasons in the NBA, spent last year in China and the D-League. He passes well for a shooting guard. But he doesn’t finish well at the rim, and his jumper is inefficient. That doesn’t stop him from shooting, though.
Tom Thibodeau’s Bulls would have had more use for a ball-stopper like Crawford, hoping he could create something in a sometimes-stagnant offense. With Fred Hoiberg, Chicago should hope it doesn’t need to rely on players Crawford. Ideally, spacing and ball movement will create shots more than individual players.
As it stands, Crawford could make the regular-season roster to provide depth behind Jimmy Butler, E’Twaun Moore and Kirk Hinrich, who will swing behind both guard positions. The Bulls have just 13 guaranteed salaries plus Cameron Bairstow ($425,000 guaranteed) and Cristiano Felicio (unguaranteed).
The Cavaliers reportedly agreed to sign Jerrelle Benimon.
E. Carchia of Sportando:
Jerrelle Benimon will continue his career in China with Foshan Lions, a source told Sportando.
Tristan Thompson, whether he accepts the qualifying offer or signs long-term, will give the Cavaliers 14 players with guaranteed salaries. They still have a few players – Quinn Cook, Jared Cunningham and D.J. Stephens – vying for that 15th and final regular-season roster spot.
I thought Benimon had a strong chance of winning the job, but he apparently favored the larger guaranteed paycheck in China. The season ends early there, so he could try returning to the NBA in the spring.
Depending on Kyrie Irving‘s health, Cook might now be the favorite to claim the final spot. Undrafted out of Duke, Cook projects as a potentially decent backup point guard. He’d provide insurance behind Mo Williams and Matthew Dellavedova.
Of course, Cleveland could still sign another player or three to compete.