Some fringe NBA players may negotiate contracts, young stars may enter into contract negotiations as well. When you’re considered to be one of the best shooting guards to ever walk this planet, you don’t enter into negotiations.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Bryant spent the better half of Monday listening to critics and pundits label him selfish and greedy for allegedly leaving the Lakers without any cap space after signing on for two more seasons at $24 million per.
Bryant though says that’s not the case, and told Yahoo Sports that his new deal was easy to put together.
“This was easy,” Bryant told Yahoo Sports on Monday night. “This wasn’t a negotiation. The Lakers made their offer with cap and building a great team in mind while still taking care of me as a player.
“I simply agreed to the offer.”
The 35 year old Bryant is almost back from the Achilles injury that ended his season before the playoffs last year. The Lakers have always viewed superstars differently than other franchises, so re-signing Bryant to whatever he wanted was a no brainer.
In this basketball universe, that’s what a max player does for a big-market franchise. The late Lakers owner, Jerry Buss, was always brutally honest about the value of his superstar players – so much more so than his ownership peers. Once, Buss told Bryant he believed he was worth $60 million to $70 million a year to the Lakers.
With Bryant’s deal – which will pay him $23.5 million and $25 million in 2015 and ’16, respectively – the Lakers have room to recruit a max player this summer, and only Bryant’s contract is still on the books for the summer of 2016.