This week started on a positive side for Kobe Bryant who signed a two-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers haven’t announced financial terms, but according to what YouWager experts have learned the deal is worth $48.5 million.
The 5x NBA Champion will maintain his status as the NBA’s highest-paid player over the course of the extension. Bryant will receive $23.5 million in the first year and $25 million in the second year of the extension.
The Los Angeles team and the 2007-08 league MVP arrived at the salaries so that the Lakers will have the financial flexibility to pursue one top free agent on the market next summer.
Oddsmakers believe the 2014 free-agent class could include four-time MVP LeBron James and reigning league scoring champion Carmelo Anthony, who both can opt out of their contracts after this basketball season.
Bryant and veteran point guard Steve Nash are the only players signed to significant contracts for next season with the L.A. team, who have been anticipating a major roster restructuring in 2014 since Dwight Howard fled town in July.
Even if the team waived the oft-injured Nash under a special provision limiting his salary cap hit, Bryant would eat up roughly a third of the Lakers’ room under the projected cap before anybody else joins him next season.
Bryant, a native of Pennsylvania, who has not played since suffering a torn Achilles tendon in April, will make more than $30.4 million this season, the final year of his current contract.