Saturday , Oct , 26 , 2013 Hoopsvibe

Top 5 Reason Lakers Should Let Kobe Become Free Agent

Why the Lakers are better off with Kobe becoming a free agent.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The art of negotiation is also the art of war.

Kobe Bryant

Jim Buss just denied rumors that had gone viral around the NBA that the Lakers would let Kobe Bryant become a free agent at the end of this season. Buss had this to say to ESPN Friday night,

"I want to put an end to any speculation that we would allow Kobe to become a free agent, That's not going to happen. Kobe is a top priority for us. He's a Laker legend and always will be. I don't think we're done winning championships with him yet."

Kobe's contract is up at the end of 2013-2014, but most betting money figured LA would sign him for a reduced rate during the regular season and then go after any number of key all-star players with the pile of money they will have left over. Big names potentially up for grabs next off-season involve Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James.

Now that Jim Buss has cleared up this rumor he helped start, here's why the Lakers actually should let Kobe Bryant become a free agent.

1. He's not going anywhere. Kobe wants more than anything to retire a Laker. He won't play for another team.

2. He's overpaid. This season he gets over $30 million and although he will likely take a pay cut next contract he has still made it clear he wants every penny he has coming to him. This gives him unnecessary leverage in his contract negotiations.

3. Kobe wants to win and the Lakers are committed to building a winner around him. They will use this strategy to get the best players they can to compliment his skill set, so why not start with the players that they don't know they can get and finish the off-season with the one they know they've got in their pocket.

4. Kobe's future after basketball could likely be with the Lakers as well. He could become a part owner like Magic Johnson. The Lakers could use the majority of the pay to bring in players to help win a championship and compensate Kobe with whatever is left over knowing he will get additional benefits after his career is over.

5. If the Lakers could score Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James it would be worth risking Kobe Bryant. Melo and LBJ are both the present and future of the NBA. Kobe is still incredibly productive, but one more torn Achilles away from calling it a wrap.

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Photo Credit: WENN

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