According to Ramona Shelburne and Chris Broussard of ESPN, the Lakers and Kobe Bryant have agreed on a two-year, $48 million extension keeping Kobe as a “Laker for life.” The extension will make Kobe the NBA’s highest paid player in both seasons as he collects $23.5 million in 2014-15 and $25 million in 2015-16 when he turns 37 years old in what will be his 20th season in a Laker uniform.
Bryant is the NBA’s highest paid player this year, making $30.453 million, but there had been talk maybe he would take a pay cut to open up cap room for the Lakers to go after the bevy of available free agents this summer without paying an egregious luxury tax fee. With all those billions of dollars from their local television contract, it seems the frugal approach isn’t happening â€” at least where Bryant’s concerned.
Despite the expensive extension of Kobe, the Lakers will still have enough room for a max free agent contract this summer; although, it will be an extremely tight fit within the parameters of the CBA.
Kobe's contract will be $23.5 million and $25 million, source tells ESPNLA.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) November 25, 2013
Source: Kobe deal worth $48 million over 2 years. Still will be highest paid player in league next 2 yrs
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) November 25, 2013
In a press release announcing the extension, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak expressed how happy a day it was for Lakers fans and the organization as a whole:
“This is a very happy day for Lakers fans and for the Lakers organization. We’ve said all along that our priority and hope was to have Kobe finish his career as a Laker, and this should ensure that that happens. To play 20 years in the NBA, and to do so with the same team, is unprecedented, and quite an accomplishment. Most importantly however, it assures us that one of the best players in the world will remain a Laker, bringing us excellent play and excitement for years to come.”
Kobe is now a #Laker4Life.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) November 25, 2013
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 25, 2013
Was the extension a smart move for the Lakers?
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