Kobe Bryant has a chance to be a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, even though he is not attending Team USA’s minicamp this week, USA Basketball Executive Director Jerry Colangelo told SheridanHoops Tuesday. “If he had a great year, it would be a great story for him to try to close out his career by winning a gold medal,” Colangelo said.
October 22, 2016 | 8:07 am EDT Update
The Miami Heat aren’t actively trying to trade point guard Goran Dragic. We know this because if they were, it wouldn’t take the Heat long to find a taker. Around the league, though, there’s a growing sense that Dragic is a name to keep tabs on for those of you (and, yes, we mean everyone) who enjoy the sport unto itself known as NBA Wheeling & Dealing, since Miami is a team rival executives are watching closely.
Don’t be surprised if the Heat decide to make Dragic available if they get off to a slow start with a roster that suddenly no longer features Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh. It should be noted that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is an immense Dragic fan who A) went to the 30-year-old’s native Slovenia in the summer to personally check up on him during EuroBasket qualifying.
Spoelstra assured Dragic this week that a recent report suggesting Miami was actively discussing a deal to send him to Sacramento for Rudy Gay and Darren Collison was inaccurate. Yet one suspects this one is bound to keep coming up, partly because whispers persist that Gay would love to land in Miami … but also because it’s no secret Sacramento is on the hunt for a first-rate quarterback.
Dragic said he appreciated the fact Spoelstra came to him before Thursday’s game in Charlotte to tell him there was nothing to the trade rumors involving him and Sacramento’s Rudy Gay. “I’m glad he did,” Dragic said. “I told him I appreciate it. My brother, my family and friends were calling. It’s something less to worry about before the season starts.”
Sources say that the Heat naturally would have been prepared to surrender Dragic during the summer as part of a grander package to try to pry Russell Westbrook away from Oklahoma City, back when teams — with fingers glued together — were hopeful that the Thunder might be willing to trade Westbrook right after Kevin Durant defected to Golden State.
Detroit Pistons president-coach Stan Van Gundy said Wednesday the organization remains in contact with the representatives of swingmen Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Bullock for possible contract extensions. The deadline is Oct. 31. If deals aren’t reached, the two players will be restricted free agents next summer. “We definitely have a desire to get something done with both of them,” Van Gundy said. “I think both agents are clear on that from our side. “It’s a matter of two things — it’s a matter of what they want to do and obviously it’s a matter of money, so that’s where the negotiations are.”