Kobe won’t opt out

Nothing official from the Lakers as yet, but ESPN.com has just posted a story that says Kobe Bryant will not terminate the final two years of his contract and become a free agent. He had until 9 p.m. tonight to let the Lakers know he would opt out of his deal. ESPN.com quoted unnamed sources. The story also indicated, “The Lakers will work with Bryant over the summer and fall to hammer out a new, long-term extension, according to the source.”

UPDATED: Just spoke with Lakers spokesman John Black, who said the team has not heard anything from Bryant so far today. Best best is that the deadline with come and go tonight at 9, and Bryant will still be with the team.