You can officially remove Kobe Bryant from the 2010 free agency list, not that anyone really believed that Bean would seriously consider leaving L.A. The Lakers today announced a three-year contract extension agreement has been reached to keep Bryant in purple-and-gold through the 2013-14 season.
The deal, for the full Bird Rights max, could be the same type of terms that LeBron James agrees to with the Cavaliers. Many people have suggested this, and I certainly agree, that LeBron may prefer to take a three year deal to stay in Cleveland and re-assess his situation then. He'd be just 28. And with a new CBA in place by then, who knows what the landscape of the league -- and the Cavaliers -- will look like.
Don't be surprised by this, Fixers. It is believed that LeBron will keep his options open until after the season (and playoffs), but there are plenty of reasons to believe he will prefer to stay put...for now.
But as Ian O'Connor wrote for ESPN New York, there are plenty of reasons why he will at least give New York an opportunity to change his mind. And if there is one thing New York can do, it can sell.
Meanwhile, the Knicks addressed more immediate needs with the signing of center Earl Barron to a 10-day contract.
Barron, who is 7-feet, 250 pounds, averaged 16.2 points and 10.2 rebounds in 31.7 minutes per game in 47 games for the D-League's Iowa Energy this season. He played (sparingly) for the Miami Heat from 2005-08 and the former Memphis Tiger was a member of the 2006 championship team.
With the injury losses of Eddy Curry (calf), Wilson Chandler (groin) and Jonathan Bender (hand), the Knicks are not only undersized, they are undermanned. Mike D'Antoni has just five healthy players available on the bench and not one is taller than 6-5. Al Harrington (6-8) started the previous game in Portland but then sprained his left ankle in the second quarter. He is questionable for tonight's game here against the Golden State Warriors, but said he will try to play.
Barron is here with the team and will be in uniform.