Is Kobe's Huge Salary Hurting the Lakers Free Agency Chances?
Is Kobe Bryant's huge salary killing the Laker's chances in free agency?
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Allen, Garnett, and Pierce all took pay cuts to win, why not Kobe?
Kobe Bryant is one of the most dominant players in the game today. Some would say, he's the best player. This is debatable, but one thing that isn't debatable is Kobe's by far the highest paid player in the NBA making $25.25 million this year. Under the salary cap agreements, each team is allowed $58 million to spend on their team. A little quick math sows that this means Kobe makes 43.5% of the Lakers' available salary.
This means they don't have much left over. Some argue Kobe is worth it, while others say he's over paid considering the second highest paid player is Kevin Garnett with only $21.24 million. Even if Kobe is worth his $25 million contract, the Lakers might not be able to afford the asking price of the other talent they still need to go around Kobe to win.
What's the point in having one of the best players in the league if you can't afford the rest of the team necessary to win? Is Kobe just greedy for money? If he is, his greed doesn't seem to bother anyone. LeBron took a pay cut to play in Miami because his stated goal was to win a championship. LeBron gave up being the highest paid player for a ring. Kobe on the other hand, took the money and now can no longer compete for a ring.
Lets be realistic, the Lakers weren't even one of the top 3 teams in the league this year. They had absolutely no chance at winning a championship and will not compete for one next year either, unless serious acquisitions are made this off-season. Unfortunately, unless Kobe agrees to not take all the money on the table, the Lakers don't have many moves they can make.
Pau Gasol is the one thing they have to bargain with and he isn't as appealing as he once was. No matter whom the Lakers get for Pau, it will likely be a talent downgrade even if it's a passion upgrade. In paying Kobe his worth have the Lakers forfeited their ability to win?
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Photo Credit: AP NEWS