Kobe Bryant took to Facebook to announce he will make his long awaited season debut this Sunday, rejoining the Lakers to face the Raptors in Los Angeles. Bryant has been sidelined since last April but that didn’t stop him from signing a controversial $48.5MM extension late in November. Here are a couple more tidbits from Friday afternoon:
- Recently injured Bulls superstar Derrick Rose has yet to decide whether or not he will play for Team USA in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. “I haven’t really thought about it,” Rose said. “That would be a good idea, but if I’m not ready, there’s no need.“ The Bulls have said they would support him playing in the FIBA World Cup if it aided in his rehabilitation process. K.C. Johnson from the Chicago Tribune has the details.
- Trading Jordan Crawford represents an alternative to dealing away Rajon Rondo if the Celtics are adamant about deflating this season’s record and pursuing a high draft pick, as Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com examines in an Insider piece.
- Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News figures Spencer Hawes will see $8MM in annual salary on his next contract if he maintains his performance from the first month of the season.
- Kenny Kadji has inked a deal to play in Germany with the New Yorker Phantoms, notes Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Kadji went undrafted out of the University of Miami and failed to make the Cavaliers‘ opening day roster out of training camp.
- Dale Kasler from the Sacramento Bee has the latest on the Kings’ project for a new arena. City officials will vote on whether or not to suspend bid requirements for the arena, saying competitive-bid procedures will impede the current construction schedule. Kasler points out that if the construction falls behind more than one year, the NBA reserves the right to relocate the Kings from Sacramento.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.