Latest News, NBA / Nov 25, 2013 / 12:16 pm

Report: Kobe Bryant Signs Two-Year, $48 Million Extension

Jim Buss, Kobe Bryant, Mitch Kupchak

Jim Buss, Kobe Bryant, Mitch Kupchak (photo. @LakersReporter)

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 — 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.

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.

Was the extension a smart move for the Lakers?

Follow Spencer on Twitter at @countcenci.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • rob

    Imma Lakers and Kobe fan but this is madness. Why pay for a washed out player money of 25 mio when i.e. Lebron earns 16 mio.???

  • north

    I get wanting to keep him but with the luxury tax so steep now I completely question this amount of money too. I guess money ain’t a thing for the Lakers. Maybe they know Melo isn’t coming so they’ll at least keep the fans in seats.

  • CKLOH

    He isn’t “washed out” (hence, a $49m contract for an 18th-year player), and he evidently doesn’t want LeBron’s assistance to acquire his sixth.

  • CKLOH

    They pay him $50m/2y, and he earns them anywhere from $75m-$100m/1y. I think the Lakers are content.

    Although I agree that he should have signed for less (perhaps $15m), this still leaves $41m-$42.5 for the Lakers to operate with. Their $250m/y TWC contract also absorbs any tax bullet for additionally expensive free agents.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • CKLOH

    They can retain most of their core via Bird Rights (assuming they remain loyal to LA for reviving their careers) and still have enough to sign a star? That does not seem to be a pittance to me.

    I don’t know, man. Like I wrote earlier, he’s overpaid by about ten million dollars. Oh well, now we’ll just have to wait and see what unfurls. Kobe will chase Kareem and maybe the Lakers will unite to form a dark horse championship candidate. Who knows?

    I’ve been lucky to relish in two championships so far, more than many franchises have achieved in their histories. Paying Kobe “Greatest Laker” money isn’t a big deal to me, personally.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    No they have to renounce everyone not under contract actually. Bird rights = cap holds. Can’t have cap holds if you want cap space.

  • CKLOH

    Okay, I misread that. Oh well, I’m only an observer. If Kobe wants to potentially sacrifice championships for scoring, that’s his right.

  • CKLOH
  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Awesome, good find. Now if only the Lakers fans arguing about this actually read that…..