Kobe Bryant hasn’t been nearly as willing to sacrifice money for the betterment of his team the way Tim Duncan has. Still, with the Lakers raking in $100.1MM in basketball-related revenue last season, an amount that far outstrips any other team in the league, USA Today’s Sam Amick argues that Bryant is simply more valuable to his team, in a financial sense, than Duncan is to the Spurs. San Antonio netted $26.1MM from their basketball operations last season, a source tells Amick. Here’s more from around the Western Conference:
- Big men still command attention on the market even in an era of small-ball, and next summer’s free agent class figures to see plenty of centers garner top dollar, as Amin Elhassan of ESPN.com examines in an Insider-only piece. The majority of the bigs he spotlights are on Western Conference teams, including Marc Gasol, Omer Asik, Robin Lopez and Tyson Chandler.
- The Suns have assigned 2014 first-round picks Tyler Ennis and T.J. Warren to the D-League, the team announced (on Twitter). Suns coach Jeff Hornacek indicated that the rookies won’t stay with the Bakersfield Jam for long, and it’s likely they return to the big club in time for an East Coast road trip that begins Monday in Boston, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic (Twitter links).
- Toure’ Murry is headed on D-League assignment from the Jazz, the team announced. Murry has yet to appear in a game for Utah after signing as a free agent this past summer. We’ll be keeping track of D-League assignments and recalls throughout this season in this post.