When news broke that Kobe Bryant had agreed to a two year extension worth $48.5 million with the Lakers, the news was greeted with excitement from many Laker fans. There have also been some detractors.
Many people have called Bryant selfish for not taking a larger pay cut, in the mold of other veterans like Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki, that would have secured more cap room for the team to pursue some of the top free agents expected to be available this offseason.
According to Yahoo! Sports‘ Adrian Wojnarowski, however, it was the Lakers who made the offer to Bryant. Bryant spoke to Yahoo! Sports about the process and had this to say:
This was easy…This wasn’t a negotiation. The Lakers made their offer with cap and building a great team in mind while still taking care of me as a player. I simply agreed to the offer
Many people think the Lakers have made a mistake in offering Bryant this much money. The Lakers have been planning to make a move in the 2014 offseason and this extension will make things difficult for the Lakers to bring in a top level free agent without pushing the salary cap to the limit.
If that were the case, the Lakers will be extremely hard pressed to retain any of their free agents meaning it is likely we may be saying goodbye to fan favorites like Jordan Hill, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson, Steve Blake, and Jodie Meeks among others.
The Lakers always have a plan. At this point, it is up to Mitch Kupchak to execute it so the Lakers can get back to the top of the NBA mountain like we are used to.
Kobe Bryant Signs 2-Year $48.5 Million Contract Extension Will Lakers