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Kobe Bryant, Lakers Have Not Opened Contract Negotiations Reviewed by Momizat on . There have been myriad questions surrounding the Achilles of Kobe Bryant, when he's going to make his return, and how effective he's going to be after the retur There have been myriad questions surrounding the Achilles of Kobe Bryant, when he's going to make his return, and how effective he's going to be after the retur Rating:
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Kobe Bryant, Lakers Have Not Opened Contract Negotiations

Washington Wizards v Los Angeles LakersThere have been myriad questions surrounding the Achilles of Kobe Bryant, when he’s going to make his return, and how effective he’s going to be after the return. A lot of pundits believe that the success of this Lakers season will depend on whether or not Bryant can come back at the level he was playing last season.

However, his recovery extends far beyond this season as Bryant is in the last year of his deal and will be an unrestricted free agent next season. If Bryant is back and playing at a high level, he’ll go into his contract negotiations with much more leverage than if he comes back at a significantly lower level.

Bryant can receive a five precent increase on the $30.45 million he’s slated to make this season if he receives the full maximum deal next summer, but it’ll put the Lakers in a bad financial situation as that would be nearly half of the expected $62.5 million cap the league will place on teams in the 2014-15 season. A lot is yet to be determined before Bryant becomes a free agent in nine months, and that’s likely why the Lakers and their superstar still haven’t opened up negotiations.

Bryant is entering the last nine months of his contract, a season worth $30.45 million before he can become a free agent in July.

He has known only one team in his 17-year career and often says he’ll be a Laker for life, but will that be the case?

The Lakers haven’t opened contract negotiations with Bryant, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, taking a wait-and-see approach as he recovers from his injury.

For the Lakers, it will be ideal if they can work out a deal past this season with Bryant before the season is over as it will increase the teams financial flexibility heading into the summer of 2014 where a plethora of high profile free agents are set to hit the market.

If Bryant goes into this summer without a new deal, there will be cap holds worth Bryant’s deal on the Lakers, making it harder for them to go after any free agents. It is expected that the Lakers will try to get Bryant at a reduced rate — somewhere in the $10-15 million range to bring in a marquee free agent to take over for Bryant after he retires.

Lakers forward Pau Gasol is in the same boat with the team, but his situation is a bit different as he’s still going to be involved in trade discussions through the deadline this season. His $19.2 million expiring contract is something that other franchises will covet, especially considering who will be a free agent this off season.

It remains to be seen what the Lakers will do with their two biggest free agents this off season (the first and seventh highest contracts in the NBA this season), but the negotiations will begin at some point during the season.

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Phillip Barnett loves cookies and difficult sozialisierbaren basketball. You can follow him on twitter at @imsohideouss.

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  • vdogg

    both sides are obviously adopting the ‘wait and see’ approach. from a salary cap perspective, it would actually be better if kobe came back and was not as good as he has been, because then the lakers would be justified in offering him more of a modest deal. somehow, though, i have a feeling that he will come back and be excellent. as always, it’s must-see TV in laker land.

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  • Daryl Peek

    12 mil a season is more than generous for Kobe after this season. Especially if championships are truly his motivation.

    What Duncan, Ginobli and Parker did for the Spurs, should absolutely be example for aging greats like Kobe. That’s the ultimate respect paid back to a loyal franchise that propped you up in the first place.

    The Lakers owe Kobe and Kobe owes the Lakers. It’s a two way street that both need to compromise on.

    • Jim213

      Kobe has brought in more business for the league and the franchise than what he’s paid. But hopefully a $12-15 mil deal can be worked out to give the team room to build on the future.

      • Daryl Peek

        Agreed. We know Kobe’s worth cannot be measured.

        • nlruizjr

          let’s not jump the gun, business is business and Kobe should understand that, if he’s able to work out some endorsement plus his 12mil. condtract, that should keep Kobe happy.

          • jjf

            20ML will be okay for Kobe and not less than that because of business he brings in Lakers

            Anybody who is going to take him will benefit regardless

      • vdogg

        truth. kobe has probably made the lakers hundreds of millions off the court over the course of his career. he has been the face of the league’s glamour team for over a decade. he is one of the main reasons the lakers have been able to go into the luxury tax to begin with. kobe is box office gold.

    • ra

      Kobe has helped the Lakers earn ‘hundreds of millions’ of dollars, and perhaps billions over the last 17 years. Kobe became an ‘international star’, the TOP, and that’s tons of money in jerseys alone.

      The Lakers owe Kobe MUCH MORE than Kobe owes the Lakers. Kobe has given to the Lakers, kept the franchise alive and VERY profitable.

      Duncan, Parker, Ginobili are good, and helped out a small market team (San Antonio, which is NOT a big world brand like the Lakers). San Antonio can’t afford to pay those 3, like the Lakers (who benefited directly from Kobe) can pay Kobe.

      Kobe was rated top 9 ’2-guard’, and that’s with busted Achilles. Until that moment, he was vying for scoring title, and probably top 3 last year. He still has plenty of juice left, and if the injury plays out well, could get back to top 3 again.

      • Daryl Peek

        That’s not true ra. Kobe would not be the Kobe we now know with all that comes with being a 5x champion if not for the Lakers brand. Too many people want to sell the Lakers brand short. SMH

        Without this stage, Kobe is like CP3 before coming to LA figuratively speaking. Kobe owes the Lakers big time! And he owes them much more than they’ll ever owe him. NO PLAYER IS BIGGER THAN THE LAKER BRAND! This is the problem I have with Kobe first fans. The Lakers will still be the Lakers, three or four years from now when Kobe has retired. These very words come out of Kobe mouth also! I’m a Kobe fan but I keep it Lakers first, as I was before Kobe and will be til dirt.

        Now lets look at the financial side of it. Billions? Straight buffoonery!! The Lakers net about 48 million annually according to Forbes. The Time Warner Deal only grosses the franchise 3 billion over the next 20 years and that’s not guaranteed. It has always been Dr. Buss’s willingness to spend the house up to the point of fiscal irresponsibility trying to field a winner on the court, that procured Show Time and The Lake Show. Magic, Kobe, Shaq, Phil, Pat Riley, ETC… are all key cogs that helped build and maintain the empire but again, they will never be bigger than the stage.

        Some Lakers fans need to get a grip on the big picture. We all love Kobe, and he’s a Laker for life, fa sho. I cherish all he’s done in the purple and gold the same way I do Magic or Kareem. GO LAKERS is a team theme. That’s all

  • Big C in Minnesota

    It would be nice to keep Kobe for three more years and keep him happy too. He is great and has a lot of talent and game left in him. I hope he will join the coaching team when we retires as well.

  • Jim213

    SMH, KB24′s rehabbing while some expect him to talk about his future salary? That’s the last thing on his mind now.

  • 5xob

    10 mill and like a special time Warner like endorsement deal for some foot recovery product for any where from 10 – 15 mill should do the trick yell

  • 3339

    no big deal. Kobe doesn’t want to play anywhere else. Kobe’s technically gonna be a free agent, but at the same time he isn’t.

  • cj

    no reason to. wait and see how he looks

  • kobtakeapaycut

    face it any franchise wont invest a whole lot of money on any aging superstar in this league regardless of their track record. what we need to get younger, and more athletic and better shooters just like what kupchak went and got. Kobe hasnt shown any signs he willing to take a pay cut to win championships??
    If i was him I’d take a pay cut in order to stay competive with the league if he wants to win more titles in his career. this sport is a young man’s sport. in dog years mid 30′s is considered old for this game, due to a higher risk of getting injured for any older player and also have to do with amount of playing time like what kobe did last season playing too many minutes is not going to be smart.
    Lakers are very fortunate to sign young talented players who want to be here.
    plus these talented young stars we’ve added this season are not greedy and want max contracts either. thats a great thing!!

  • Lakers Please Keep Kobe

    Kobe is getting the go retire treatment?Kobe will still play.Could this become another Peyton Manning situation?I think it’s obvious the Lakers want to get younger and Kobe Bryant may not fit the youth movement in La.Wow this is the Lakers Nations best article.

    First it was time to worry about Dwight Howard leaving now the Kobe Bryant free agency watch has begun a year in advance SMH.I hope he gets treated better than Derek Fisher on the way out if they cut ties with eachother.

    Derek Fisher went to OKC and he wanted to stay in LA SMH.Jim Buss is a fucking retatrded moron if he lets Kobe the legend go to another team.Fuck that piece of dog shit Jim Buss he is a fucking lost cause and this article just fucking proves it damn it.Say what you want about my comment but it’s fucking

    TRUE.Jim Buss is nothing but a idiot who had a silver spoon in his mouth and was spoiled rotten by billionaire father Jerry Buss and now he is well on his way to destroy the Lakers forever.Fuck you Jim Buss i hate you’re tactics they stink you ball sucking cheap bastard.

  • Keith Patterson

    The Lakers will have a difficult time finding another superstar to play alongside him…His personality makes it a very difficult match to make. It’s about choices in life, and Kobe’s choices & comments might come back to haunt him…and he’s not going to put the Lakers over the top at this stage of his career. He might force the Lakers to make a difficult choice that might be best for the team in the long run. He’s not worth $30 million…but no one player is worth that kind of investment.

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