Lakers to head to China

CHICAGO -- Perhaps in a move by the NBA to capitalize on the immense global popularity of Kobe Bryant -- who could be playing his final season in 2013-14 -- the Los Angeles Lakers will participate in the China Games next preseason, according to multiple team sources.

The Los Angeles Clippers and defending-champion Miami Heat represented the league in the sixth edition of the China Games in Beijing and Shanghai in October.

Bryant has one year remaining on his current contract with the Lakers and has repeatedly said he plans to play only "two or three" more seasons, including the 2012-13 campaign.

The Lakers last traveled abroad to participate in the NBA's Europe Live promotion in 2010-11, holding a portion of their training camp in Barcelona and London.

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.