vanessa bryant*It’s no secret that the producers of “Basketball Wives’ have been licking their chops and drooling at the very thought of having Vanessa Bryant on board.

Well now that she’s um, er, available as in no longer married to Kobe, they feel they have a shot, according to TMZ. Supposedly, the people behind the VH1 show are prepping to make her an offer she can’t refuse.

Multiple sources close to the production tell us, producers are putting together “an extremely lucrative pitch for Vanessa” … for her to become a recurring character.

As one source put it, “Vanessa has more than enough storyline and would bring the show to another level.”

As for the timing — we’re told producers never dreamed of approaching Vanessa while she was married to Kobe … and our sources say Vanessa would NOT have been receptive.

Budget constraints were also an issue when the show was in its infant stages — because producers knew Vanessa would be very expensive — but now that BW’s one of the highest rated shows on the network, producers have lots more to spend on talent.

If Vanessa accepts, reportedly, producers would instantly make her a LEAD on the LA edition of the show.