After rupturing his Achilles in April against the Golden State Warriors, there were discussions that the Los Angeles Lakers should amnesty Kobe Bryant. With the severity of the injury and Bryant due for $30 million in the last year of his contact, it made financial sense for outsiders looking at the situation. Instead, the Lakers are sticking with their franchise player and will pay him over $24 million on Fri. Oct. 31 via Lakers Nation:
“As part of his contract that he signed in 2010, Bryant negotiated a clause that would allow him to receive a balloon payment as opposed to getting his money spread out throughout the year. As a result of this, Bryant will receive a payment of $24,363,044 on November 1.”
With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and the implementation of advanced statistics over the last couple of seasons, many are saying that Bryant is overpaid. Considering all he has done not only for the Lakers but the entire NBA over his career, it is well-deserved and only Michael Jordan has made more in a single season.
With the Lakers committed to keeping him after this season, it will be interesting to see how much Bryant will ask for when both sides negotiate an extension. For the first time in his career, Bryant will have to choose between asking for a max contract or taking a pay cut to improve his chances of winning a sixth championship.
While Bryant has stated that he intends to get the most money possible, chances are that he takes a significant pay cut similar to Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett to win more championships before he decides to retire.
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