Kobe Bryant was recently given a mega two-year contract extension by the Los Angeles Lakers. The deal is worth a total of $48.5 million, or over $24 million annually. This makes him the highest paid player in the league at 35 years old.
We all know Bryant can ball. The real question is is he worth this much of a hit on the salary cap for the Lakers? He is coming off of an Achilles injury and is getting up there in age. That money could have potentially been used for a max player in the future that wasn’t on the tail end of his career.
All that being said, I actually believe this was a smart move for the Lakers. They pretty much wrapped Bryant up so he can play the rest of his days in a Laker uniform. Pre-injury, Bryant showed he was still capable of being one of the league’s premier players. He shot better than 46 percent from the field and averaged over 27 points a game.
There is little doubt in Bryant’s ability, even at 35 given that he comes back 100 percent from injury. The Lakers have a lot of salary coming off the books after this year so despite this huge two-year commitment they can still sign a max player to play alongside Bryant.
With only a two-year pact this does nothing to hurt the Lakers either in the short or long term. In fact, depending on who the Lakers land in free agency, Bryant with another max guy and Pau Gasol might make some serious noise in the Western Conference.