Fall is in the air, and the NBA season is looming, as the training camps are in full swing and the preseason games have commenced.
There's plenty of talk going around the NBA about the new-look teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as speculation regarding the next wave of rookie talent. The various preseason activities give us a little peek of what may be coming for the upcoming season and how the landscape for the league may be changing.
With that being said, let's take a look at a few of the latest stories coming out of the NBA during the preseason.
After Dwyane Wade recently announced that he would be leaving the Jordan brand for the Chinese brand Li-Ning, Jordan wasted no time finding a replacement.
With his first tweet since Dec. 29, 2011, Russell Westbrook announced via Twitter that he had signed on with Jordan and attached a promotional photo of him dunking with a Jumpman logo in the upper right-hand corner.
This signing is not much of a surprise, since Westbrook is an all-star talent on a high-profile team that is contending for a championship. Also, what better way for Jordan to get back at Wade than by signing a member of the team that last competed against him in the NBA Finals.
The Denver Nuggets are still working on getting an extension done with starting point guard Ty Lawson, reports Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post.
Lawson is being represented by agent Happy Walters, who is trying to facilitate a deal before the end of the preseason. If a deal is not reached by then, Lawson would become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
If a deal is reached, it is expected to be somewhere in the neighborhood of six years and $65 million for the fourth-year guard out of North Carolina. Lawson is a key part of the Nuggets and arguably their most valuable asset right now, so expect them to push as hard as they can to ink Lawson and prevent the risk of losing him in free agency.
The end of Linsanity last season was marked with a knee injury to Jeremy Lin, who missed the last part of the regular season and the playoffs for the Knicks.
Now that Lin has had surgery and is a member of the Houston Rockets, he is still recovering from his injury. Though he previously maintained that his knee was 100 percent, reports are now saying that he is still healing and recovering.
Though he hasn't missed any practice time, Lin is still in the process of getting healthy, and the Rockets are certainly hoping that Linsanity is ready for takeoff in time for next season.
Since we're on the subject of knees, it's worth mentioning that the Philadelphia 76ers' new centerpiece is still healing his.
There were reports that Bynum was traded while he was not fully healthy, but 76ers team president Rod Thorn has since denied those reports.
Bynum was a big part of the blockbuster trade that sent Dwight Howard to Los Angeles, but he will be sitting out at least the first three weeks of training camp and preseason for the Sixers to tend to his bruised knee.
After Bynum's major surgeries on both knees in the past few years, Philadelphia obviously doesn't want to take any chances on him, especially if no regular-season games are on the line. Could this just be a small bump in the road, or will Bynum's injuries continue to haunt him?
One of the biggest stories that had the streets talking over the past few days has been about the possibility of no more Kobe after his contract runs out at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season.
The reports came from multiple sources, after Bryant had hinted at not playing past his current contract in an interview with CBSSports.com.
If Kobe were to retire in just two seasons, he would have a chance at least to contend for one more championship to cement his status as a Hall of Famer. Also, you can be sure that he would have his number hung up in the rafters at the Staples Center, but whether it's No. 8 or No. 24 that goes up remains in question.
Sure, he will enshrined in the Hall of Fame, but will Kobe go down as one of the greatest, if not the best, player of this recent generation? Well, that's for the analysts and fans all over the world to debate, and I'm sure they will.