Saturday , Feb , 21 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Kobe Bryant Likely to Sign 5-Year, $135-Million Contract

Lakers owner Jerry Buss is obviously not afraid to possess high-salaried players. (See: Gasol trade, Bynum extension and Kobe Bryant 2004 extension). Buss was on pace to pay more than $10 million in luxury taxes this season, a figure that is now under $7 million, but he is also on pace to dole out some gigantic checks in July.

Bryant will probably opt out of a contract that had two more years on it in favor of a five-year contract worth about $135 million.

Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom will soon be unrestricted free agents who want long-term deals with a lot of zeros at the end of them. (Actual numbers to be determined in July, a lot of it depending on whatever happens between now and June.),0,4843920.story