Should The Lakers Offer Kobe Bryant A Contract Extension This Summer?
Kobe Bryant is not going to accept a pay cut from the Los Angeles Lakers anytime soon. At least, that’s what he told the Lakers fan site Lakers Nation the other day. According to him, he’s all about his business and will not take anything less than a fair offer simply to help his team out. He hasn’t revealed what a fair offer would be for the aging superstar. But considering he makes more than $30 million per season right now, it’s safe to say that Kobe will not be playing for $1 or $2 million anytime soon. He still wants to be paid a high salary to lead the Lakers.
However, that brings up interesting question: Should the Lakers give Kobe—who is currently rehabbing an injured Achilles—a contract extension to ensure that he remains with them through next season, or should they hang tight, see how next season goes, and then reevaluate where they’re at as a franchise? The truth is that, by the summer of 2014, the Lakers could be in complete rebuild mode, and it won’t make much sense to re-sign Kobe. At that point, why spend $20 or $25 million per season on a guy who is the face of your franchise but who is actually going to hurt your team by leading them to the middle of the pack every season? It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. That’s how teams get stuck with the No. 8 seed in the playoffs every season.
But that might be exactly why the Lakers should give Kobe his extension this summer. There’s no doubt that they want him to remain with Los Angeles for the remainder of his career. But if they wait until the summer of 2014 to decide what to do with him, they might be forced into doing something that they don’t want to do. For instance, if Kobe demands too much money next summer and the Lakers don’t think they are going to be a serious contender in 2015 or 2016, why should they pay him a ton of money? It could lead to a bad breakup between Kobe and the Lakers that will tarnish all of their years together.
With that in mind, the Lakers need to try their best to extend Kobe’s contract this summer. By doing it, they’ll be able to put an exit strategy into place for Kobe and give him the money that he deserves for everything he’s done for L.A. If they don’t do it now, it will definitely turn into a big headache later. And after all the Lakers have been through recently, that’s the last thing they want or need. So just pay the man, guys. It’ll be best for everyone.