ESPN – Kobe Bryant signed a two-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.The Lakers did not announce financial terms, but a source told ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne that the deal is worth $48.5 million.Bryant will remain the NBA’s highest-paid player over the course of the extension, the source told Shelburne. The former league MVP will receive $23.5 million in the first year and $25 million in the second year of the extension, according to the source.Bryant, who is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, will make over $30.4 million this season, the final year of his current contract with the Lakers.The team announced the deal in a press release, saying that the signing “should ensure” that the 35-year-old Bryant finishes his storied career with the Lakers.”This is a very happy day for Lakers fans and for the Lakers organization,” general manager Mitch Kupchak said in the release. “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.”Bryant, who has helped the Lakers win five NBA championships, took to Twitter on Monday morning, posting a photo of his signature on the contract.
They talked about Kobe coming back last week, but he had soreness in his achilles so he didn’t. Clearly, the best option here is to extend his contract. The good news is they are paying him a meager $48.5 mil over 2 years of the extension.
Why wouldn’t you wait to see how he plays first? Even if he sucks when he returns, the Lakers would probably want to keep him around. At least if that happened though, the Lakers could be like “Kobe, you suck now” and then pay him way less for the next two years if they are deadset on re-signing him. I doubt he’s going to suck when he gets back, but I also doubt he is what he was before the injury. Even if his achilles explodes and his foot falls off, he’s probably earned this money from the Lakers over his career. Plus they still have room to offer a max contract in the offseason to someone else (Lebron).