I think Kobe will retire a Laker, with that being said he will have to take a pay cut. He won’t ever acknowledge that publicly, but that is what will happen, if he wants to get that 6th ring.
The Lakers are positioned to make a splash in free agency next year, but first they need to handle Kobe’s contract situation. According to Pro Basketball Talk they will take a wait and see approach.
The Lakers haven’t opened contract negotiations with Bryant, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, taking a wait-and-see approach as he recovers from his injury….
If Bryant asks for the maximum 5% raise over his current salary, he would earn $32 million in 2014-15. The Lakers won’t pay him that much, especially as he comes off a torn Achilles’, because it would seriously dent their salary-cap space. Bryant alone at that cost would take up almost half the estimated $62.5-million cap for NBA teams in 2014-15.
If he took a dramatic pay cut and asked for $10 million to $12 million for 2014-15, it would give the Lakers space to add two top-level free agents next summer.
Kobe should be fine, he is Kobe Bryant, I think he may have a slow start to season, but will be his old self soon enough, it won’t be a Derrick Rose situation.