Kobe Bryant’s two-year, $US48.5 million contract extension has received a lukewarm reception among NBA junkies.
Despite the fact that Kobe took a substantial pay cut, a lot of people think that paying an older player coming an injury $US25 million a year is a misallocation of salary cap space and a bad move for the team.
But according to Kobe, the Lakers got exactly what they wanted in this deal.
Kobe told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo that he took the team’s first offer, and there was no negotiation:
“This was easy,” Bryant told Yahoo Sports on Monday night. “This wasn’t a negotiation. The Lakers made their offer with cap and building a great team in mind while still taking care of me as a player.
“I simply agreed to the offer.”
The terms of the contract ($23.5 million in 2014-15 and $US25 million 2015-16) were designed to give the Lakers room to sign a max-contract free agent in the offseason.
In theory, the Lakers could sign LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony if they opted out and turned down the more lucrative contracts that their respective teams can offer them.
Still, this is a monster contract. Kobe will remain the highest-paid player in the league until 2016, and even with room for a max player the Lakers are going to struggle to build a championship-quality team with limited money to spend.
It would have benefitted them greatly if Kobe took a bigger discount, so it’s surprising that they started the negotiations at such a huge number.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.