David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Late Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant is on track for a first-ballot enshrinement into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this year, as Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Bryant, who was among the eligible candidates announced last month, will be part of the Hall’s standard screening process this week, then is expected to be named a finalist in February and an inductee in April, per Charania (Twitter link).

In addition to featuring Bryant, the Hall of Fame’s class of 2020 is expected to include Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, who are eligible for the first time this year. Players like Chris Bosh, Shawn Marion, and Michael Finley are also first-time nominees and Hall-of-Fame hopefuls. The list of inductees will be announced during the NCAA’s Final Four in Atlanta this spring.

“(The class of 2020 is) expected to be arguably the most epic class ever with Kobe, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett,” Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo said, according to Charania. “Kobe will be honored the way he should be.”

The enshrinement ceremony for the class of 2020 will take place on August 29 in Springfield, Mass. Given the circumstances surrounding Bryant’s induction, it figures to be an emotional event.

This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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