Kobe signs monster extension guaranteeing future bad contract status

Kobe Bryant had the ability to become an unrestricted free agent this off-season, and while it was basically never talked about because no one believed he'd actually leave the Lakers, there was always some small sliver of a chance he could take up someone's cap space this off-season. 

That chance is now gone.

Kobe signed a monster extension which picks up his option for 2010/11 and guarantees him roughly 90 million more over the three extension years from 2011/12-2013/14.    It's an interesting spot the Lakers are in, because honestly, how could you not give Kobe the extension.

On the other hand, I can almost guarantee he'll be a bad contract in the final couple years of that deal where he's making 30 and 32 million.  Especially when the new CBA rolls around, and Kobe takes up 60-70% of the salary cap at age 34/35.   He won't be a bad contract in the sense that he'll still be a very good player most likely, but you'll be paying 32 million for a guy who's probably no longer a top five player in the league.

With the deal Kobe will become the second player (Jordan being the other) to break the 30 million per season barrier with his salary, and he also becomes the present leader in career earnings in NBA history (assuming every player is paid out what they currently have guaranteed and don't get another contract though Shaq/Garnett are in the ballpark if either can get another big money deal).

Now the Bulls didn't have enough to bid on Bryant anyway, so it obviously doesn't really effect the Bulls bidding plans (or anyone's really, in that no one believed he'd leave LA).   As for the Lakers, look at Celtics now, and that's the Lakers in another 1-2 seasons.


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  • It'll only be a bad contract if it prevents the team from spending to obtain or retain key players. While no one can know what will come with the new CBA, Stern is too smart to handcuff the teams with the biggest and most marketable stars. Especially a key, popular franchise like the Lakers. Even with a hard cap, I think it's safe to expect some grandfather clause or accommodation to be made for a team like the Lakers to remain competitive while paying Kobe $30M.

  • I don't know that Kobe is a bad contract for the Lakers. Certainly he'll be very highly paid, but contracts only matter in three scenarios:

    a) You want to trade the plaer
    b) You're trying to get below the cap
    c) You're trying to get below the tax

    Since none of these situations apply or will apply to the Lakers over the next 3 years, I don't think it matters what Kobe is being paid.

  • How can you say it will be a bad contract? Was Jordan a bad contract his final 3 seasons with the Bulls? Was he not a top 5 player?

    I dont even understand how you can say Kobe wont be a top 5 player at 34? Why?

  • I am guessing that the Lakers hope that Bynum becomes an Alpha player in a couple of years and can carry/help Kobe by the end of his contract. Remember he is very young and skilled. But he has had a lot of injury issues...so let's watch. Or they might atleast hope, he(Bynum) develops enough to trade for somebody like Carmelo, Chris Paul or some other budding superstar to build around.
    But that said...the Lakers were down for a few years(1990s) but Jordan was carrying the league. So it will be interesting...

  • If they do implement a hard cap then his contract would be a bad one. Then again any max free agent signed this summer would be a bad contract for the team that signs them. It all depends what happens in the CBA.

  • Kobe isnt the best player in the NBA?

    Really? I guess if you dont like Championships, then yes. And not even top three?

    Doug I respect your take on Basketball, but, quite frankly, youre completely wrong, in my opinion. Kobe is not only the best player in the NBA RIGHT NOW, he will be for years to come.

  • While I agree that it's going to be a bad contract in the last year or two, there's really no telling how bad until we get the new CBA. It's possible they simply put a limit on how much a pre-CBA contract can count against the cap (say, anything over 20 million only counts as 20 million), in which case Kobe's contract might not be much worse than... say... the deal we're inevitably going to give Joe Johnson. :)

    I agree though, 30 million is going to be a lot to pay for a guy who's already visibly declining.

  • Significantly worse record in a significantly better conference.

    Come on....You're telling me Chris Paul and Kevin Durant are better than Kobe.

    Lebron has SHAQ!!!

    Talk to me when the Lakers and Kobe repeat this year.

  • Hes battled some injuries this season Doug. Kobe will still be a top 10 player even in his late 30s.

  • DT what world do you live in? How many all-stars does Lebron play with? How many does Kobe play with? How many all-stars(reserves) did it take Kobe to get back to championship level and to win it all last year? One. Pau Gasol (an all-star reserve). If you didn't know, Pau is the FIRST all-star (reserve) Kobe has had since Shaq demanded to be traded. Can you list all the all-stars that Lebron has played with since

  • Irregardless of your idea of who's a "legitimate" all-star, how many all-stars has Lebron played with, and IS currently playing with? And how many has Kobe played with?

    Hollow stats, as in they lead to a MVP, yet NO FINALS appearance.

    What makes Kobe the "best" in the league isn't his stats. PERIOD. Lebron leads the league in NO category. I find hollinger's per and ratings neither reliable nor valid. What makes Kobe the best is, I'll repeat, his undeniable "focus, will, maniacal dedication to the game and killer instinct". I'll add toughness (besides Paul Pierce, I've never seen two all-star calliber stars roll around on the ground like weeble wobbles like they do. Before the games he missed this year, Kobe hadn't missed a game in nearly 3 years- which includes 2 trips to the finals and the Olympics).

    Analysis takes more than coming up with g-wizz & ZERO-SUM (zero as in ZERO championships)stats. It is what's between the lines.

    Please address:
    1. the number of all-stars
    2. LA's offense vs the Cav's offense
    3. hollow MVP award(s)
    4. Kobe playing with 2 broken fingers on his DOMINANT hand
    5. Lebron's focus, will, dedication to the game and killer instinct.

    Additionally, sorry to bust your bubble. But you apparently didn't understand the inference I was alluding to with the Magic and Jordan comparison. Similarly, Jordan DIDN'T understand the concept of "team" until Phil Jackson took over as head coach in 1989.

  • DT. As Van Gundy said in regards to who's the best today, "Hey you pick first, I'll pick second. And I'll roll with it".

    But what suprises me is that you havn't addressed the points that I asked you to.

    1. The number of all-stars each player has played with since '04.
    2. The Cav's offense vs. the Laker's (and how that relates to stats).
    3. Hollow MVP's
    4. Lebron's will....
    5. Kobe's broken fingers

    In regards to comparison of career achievements, there is NO comparison. Kobe IS the in the TOP SIX of all time and STILL playing. There is no hypothetical, fortune telling and/or predictions needed. Likewise, go look at Kobe's "stats" in the Laker's 2nd & 3rd championships:

    regular season '00 (second championship)
    28.5(ppg) 5.9(reb) 5.0(asst)
    playoffs '00:
    29.4(ppg) 7.3(reb) 6.1(asst)

    regular season '01 (third championship):
    25.2(ppg) 5.5(reb) 5.5(asst)
    playoffs '01:
    26.6(ppg) 5.8(reb) 4.6(asst)

    The "side-kick" arguement needs to be put to rest.

    Lebron's is not in the conversation with respect to career achievements. PERIOD. One can debate Lebron ISN'T as good as one of his draft-mates. WADE. What irks me is all the "will be", "gonna", "should" non-sense. Lebron is a great "fantasy" NBA player; yet, in reference to the greatest SMALL FORWARDS in NBA history(forget great SG like Jordan or PG's like Magic)- Lebron has a tremendous list of players WAY ahead of him:


    While Kobe IS currently the second best SG EVER: and still playing and still climbing.

  • DT it's obvious that you like many people are more about fantasy versus reality.

    1. You don't want to look up how many all-stars lebron has played with vs kobe since shaq left BECAUSE the numbers speak for themselves. Lebron has consistently had better teammates than kobe has. And the number of all-stars speaks to that.

    2. It's obvious you don't know how team offenses relate to stat inflations. TRIANGLE offense vs. "All Lebron ALLDAY". No one that plays in the triangle would EVER have stats like Lebrons. EVER. And HASN

  • In reply to heh8meN1:

    Holy Cows.....this makes Mr. Happy look rational. I really like the part where you relieves Doug of his duties.

    1. Lebron and Kobe have played with 2 all stars each (since Shaq left). Big Z (2005) and Mo Williams (injury replacement for Bosh in 2009). Gasol in LA in 2009 and 2010. So, yeah, the numbers speak for themselves and the numbers say you

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