Lakers Nation Debate: Will Kobe’s Extension Restrict The Lakers?

Lakers Nation Debate: Will Kobe’s Extension Restrict The Lakers?


Kobe-Bryant-3Topic Of Debate: Whether or not Kobe’s contract is going to hurt the Lakers chances of building a championship team in the future.

Context: As we all know, the Lakers and Kobe Bryant recently agreed on a contract extension worth $48.5-million dollars over the next two years. At the announcement of Kobe’s new deal, there was a lot of controversy surrounding whether Bryant was selfish in accepting such a lucrative offer from the Lakers front-office.

Kobe has always been known as a guy that will  do “whatever it takes” to win, so to some, it seemed logical that if that this were true, he’d take a significant pay-cut in order to allow the Lakers to build a championship team in the 2014 off-season. Because that didn’t happen, a lot of critics questioned not only his championship aspirations, but whether or not his new contract is going to restrict the Lakers from bringing in some top tier talent.

This new extension has naturally brought up some issues that the Lakers are going to have to address. What are they going to do with Pau? What about Jordan Hill? Will they be able to bring in enough talent to bring in a championship caliber team?


We took this poll question to Twitter to get the fans take on the idea and where they stood on Kobe’s contract.

I presented the poll question:

Here are some responses:

The main topic of discussion that came about after Kobe signed his extension was the fact that the Lakers front-office had placed the franchise in a position where they can no longer bring in two max-level free agents in this upcoming off-season to play alongside Kobe Bryant.

While some Lakers fans were a bit disappointed by that, and Kobe received some backlash, I think the fact that the front-office committed that much money to him means that they believe he is still a superstar caliber talent in the NBA.

Personally, I think Lakers fans might be getting a bit selfish. Expecting the Lakers to bring in two max-level guys (like Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James ) is a tall order. Kobe is a great start, and they’ll have enough flexibility to either bring in another star, or a few good complimentary pieces.

They’ll have between $20-$28 million dollars in cap room. That’s more than enough money to get the job done.

What do you think?

Kobe Bryant, Mitch Kupchak, Jim Buss Speak Out After Contract Extension

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Stop worrying Lakers will be able to make some great moves.:-)

    • Erad

      Really? Well why didnt you just say so? That’s a relief

  • Jim213

    IMO, this places all the pressure on Kobe again to live up to his own expectations aside of assuring that seats @ Staples remain full. Like Kobe said this contract makes him feel like running thru a wall for the franchise. But we shouldn’t expect the old Kobe this season upon his return and coming off of AT rehab with minimal strength and conditioning training.

    It’d be best to trade Nash IMO to take his $9 mil salary off the books 2014-2015) come next year. If not, it may prove difficult to sign Blake or Farmar as their play will likely come with a pay hike which mostly applies to Farmar (vet contract). The $9 mil would be useful in helping to resign Blake or Farmar while possibly allowing the chance to resign another player from the bench mob IMO.

    The team may also not benefit now by trading Pau. Between Pau and Hill (inside the paint) they currently avg over 20+ points and 20+ rebounds per game. There’s the team’s current inside game at the time. Pau has a better all around game than Hill who’s mostly come off the bench since joining the league. So it’ll take time for Hill to better develop his game on the offensive side though the team has enough scorers as we also know Hill’s current role as a starter.

    IMO, management will also need to be cautious of who they attain come 2014/2015 FA (franchise player). If Melo comes next year then don’t expect K Durant for those who would like him as a Laker come 2016. But if management is looking for a better all around player then K Love will likely be available 2015. Love may appeal more to offensive minded scorers (shooters) down the line for other star players to consider playing alongside of come FA.

    Both Melo and Durant shoot a high number of shots so don’t see them playing together for any team. IMO, it be best to go after a second or third go to guy next season if things don’t pan out with Melo come 2014 FA. Aside of that it’s only a two year contract so it would be best to focus on the other things first given Kobe will be around for another 2 seasons as management should focus more on RESIGNING the consistent players as the team has better overall depth than in the past.

  • Martin Susman

    Farmar, Hill, Young & Henry all need to be resigned… The only way you are going to do that is to get rid of Nash & Gasol. Kobe sucked to much money, plain & simple. Gasol needs ot go now as does Nash. The more games they lose the better for a first round pick. If somehow they can get draft picks for Gasol, that would be great.
    The Lakers NEED a point for the future, a small forward & power forward as well as a center & two guard to take over for Kobe… Truth is if they want a ring, they need 4 starters. 2016 has Wall, Lillard, Irving, Thompson, Harrison Barnes, all free agents & Monroe could be available sooner. Gasol to the Pistons for Monroe would be a great get for Mitch.

  • john

    They will have like 20mil$ left if melo comes and both gasol and hill can be resigned over the salary cap because of the birth rights the have so no worries i think ..

    • Jojob

      I don’t believe the new CBA let’s you get away with that. You can’t sign new free agents (like Carmelo) and then use the “bird rights” you have on your former players (like Gasol and Hill) to go over the cap.

      All the players on this year’s roster who become free agents at the end of the season (which is most of the roster) continue to count against the cap until one of three things happen.
      1) You re-sign them (like they just did with Kobe).
      2) Another team signs them.
      3) You “renounce” them (giving up your “bird rights” on them).

      So, you can re-sign Hill and Gasol. Hill’s value has increased thanks to his recent play. I’d guess it would cost, at least $15 million to re-sign both of them. Maybe it would be between $15 and $20 million.
      How bad would that make the Lakers’ cap space?

      I saw an estimate by cap expert Larry Coon. After the re-signing of Kobe, he figured that the Lakers could come up with, at most, $22 million in cap space. That was based on a 12 man roster with eight of the players making about half a million and without Hill or Gasol. So, if you want Hill and Gasol, you have maybe $5-$7million to use on a new free agent.

      I’d like to see the Lakers keep Farmar and maybe Meeks. They won’t come for half a million. That reduces the cap space even more. Maybe you want the Lakers to keep Young or Johnson or Henry or Williams. If they cost over half a million, that’s another hit on the cap space.

      I’m enjoying watching the Lakers this season. They’re fun and it helps that I have no championship expectations for this group.

      I think Mitch can string together some fun teams like this one with Kobe being the only expensive player. They won’t contend for a championship, but maybe we can develop a core of capable young players along the way and get some goodies from the 2016 free agency period, when (if) Kobe retires at the end of this new contract.

  • hookedonnews

    The answer to this question is obvious–of course his contract restricts the Lakers. It’s not about whether Kobe is still a superstar, what he’s worth, etc. It’s simple math–more money to Kobe, less money for other players. It’s not rocket science.