NBA Roundtable

Kobe Signs Contract Extension

In Free Agency, General NBA on April 2, 2010 at 3:45 pm

RealGM reports

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Kobe Bryant to a three-year contract extension, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“We are extremely pleased that we were able to reach an agreement and come to terms on the extension at this time,” said Kupchak.

“Kobe has been a cornerstone of the Lakers for well over a decade, helping to lead us to four NBA Championships and in the process developing into one of the greatest players in basketball history.”

“Two of our main goals heading into this season were to sign Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol to contract extensions,” continued Kupchak.

“With the signing of Pau earlier this season and the signing of Kobe today, we were able to accomplish those goals, helping to keep the core of this team intact for the foreseeable future and in turn help to ensure the franchise’s continued success over the years to come.”

Lakers Medium Term Future

Very good news for the Lakers. This should keep them in Championship contention for several years to come.

No word on the exact amount of the contract extension but one has to imagine that it was a max contract type deal. Pau Gasol got a massive contract extension, and they’re in LA, so it’s unlikely Kobe felt the need to give up any money to allow his front office more wiggle room in fleshing out the rest of their roster.

Estimate

The maximum allowable contract extension for Kobe would be:

  • 2010/11 — $24.80 million
  • 2011/12 — $27.41 million
  • 2012/13 — $30.01 million
  • 2013/14 — $32.61 million

Total: $117.83 million over four years for an average of $29.46 million per annum

Value for Money?

Based on Kobe Bryant’s performance this season … Kobe is not worth the $24.8 million he is due to earn next season nevermind the increasing amounts in the future. Those future annual salaries become even more worrying when you consider Kobe’s recent rate of decline and the possibility of further decline throughout that contract.

I would place his current value in the $17-20 million bracket based on his play this season. He has performed like an All-NBA quality player but not an MVP candidate.

Market Value

The Lakers did not have a lot of options in re-signing Kobe Bryant.

Someone else would have offered him ridiculous money in free agency. The starting salary Kobe would have commanded this summer would have been up to $24.18 million and he could have signed a five year deal. Only two teams had enough cap space to offer him that kind of money — New Jersey and New York — but it is very likely that at least one of those teams would have been willing to make that offer. Miami could also have made an offer somewhere in the $20-22 million range if they wished to.

So, if Kobe wanted to play hard ball, he likely could have forced the Lakers into offering that type of money anyway.

Hopeful Contract Scenario

#1 — The Lakers managed to convince Kobe to max out his annual payday at $25 million per annum. No increases beyond that point. That would give him a four year deal worth $99 million instead of $118 million. This is quite unlikely though.

#2 — An even better scenario would have Kobe Bryant accepting a decreasing contract that would see him earning less each year forward in the extension. A four year deal worth around $90 million (a difference of around $10 million per annum in each of the last two years of his contract extension). A situation that would allow the Lakers to spend more on Kobe’s supporting cast in his later years, as his game declines, and giving LA a better chance of winning titles in those seasons.

That said, I think both of those scenarios are quite unlikely. I believe it’s most likely that Bryant was offered and accepted the maximum allowable contract extension. If not, I think the second most likely scenario has Bryant accepting a deal below that number but in the ball park ($105-112 million).

Conclusions

A very good signing because it gives the Lakers several more shots at winning more titles.

The money will be cumbersome, possibly straight away, and definitely towards the end of the contract. It gives LA another title or three, though, it will be worth it.

More On The Money

Update: Initial reports have Kobe’s three year contract extension worth more than $90 million … which combined with his 2010/11 year’s pay ($24 million) will total somewhere around $115 million — link — I imagine it’s exactly the $117.8 million figure I detailed above.

Update: The LA Times reports that Kobe signed a three year extension worth $84 million so Kobe may have given up some money. That would mean he gave up $6 million over three seasons. It’s unknown where that $6 million came off … could a declining contract or a lower starting salary.

Update: Adrian Wojnarowski has the exact figures

The three-year contract extension that Kobe Bryant signed late last week will be worth $83.5 million and includes a no-trade clause, an internal league memo revealed.

The extension begins in the 2011-12 season, when the Los Angeles Lakers star guard will earn $25.2 million. He’ll get $27.8 million in 2012-13 and $30.5 million in his final year, 2013-14, when he turns 35.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: