The Los Angeles Lakers will have a lot of questions to answer this summer, and perhaps the biggest one will be what to do with Kobe Bryant.
This upcoming season will be Bryant’s last under his current contract, and at this point, it is unclear what he will do during the off season. The Lakers are trying to rebuild their franchise and in order to do so, the front office has to bring in younger talent. Although Bryant has been the face of the team for several years now, the Lakers will eventually have to move into a different era.
According to the OC Register, Jim Buss said the Lakers will allow Bryant to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
He becomes a free agent at the end of the season, and Jim Buss says because of the pay structure of the NBA, the Lakers will allow Kobe to become a free agent.
He says he has talked to Kobe and believes they have an understanding, Bryant waiting as a free agent while the team spends to upgrade and then using what is left over to pay Kobe.
“We’ve probably talked,” says Kobe while being somewhat vague, “but I’m putting off any thought of that.”
There is a potential of a very talented free agent class of 2014 and the Lakers are hoping to capitalize on all of the star power. However, there is also a chance that the unrestricted free agents re-sign with their current teams and that all the young restricted free agents opt to stay in their current situation.
The Lakers are on the verge of leaving the Kobe Bryant era, and in order for them to assure future success, they will have to make smart front office decisions this season and next summer.
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