Staff Writer: Ryan Ward
This summer will showcase arguably the most talented free agent market in the history of the NBA as some of the biggest names in the league will be available to the highest bidder starting with MVP candidate LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Along with LeBron James, there are plenty of other big name free agents that will be available this summer that could drastically change the look of the NBA and franchises like the New York Knicks, Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers.
All three of these teams, which are in big markets, have the most money to spend when these big name free agents become available and will almost certainly do everything within their power to convince them to play for their franchise.
In all likelihood, all of these big name players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudemire and Chris Bosh will most likely reason sign with their current squads as the Cavs, Heat, Suns and Raptors will be devastated if they lose arguably the best players this summer.
One name that hasn’t got much attention this year, but could’ve been a free agent just like any of these other big names, was the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant.
Apparently, Kobe could have terminated the last year of his contract after this season and with only a couple weeks left in the NBA regular season the black mamba still had not inked a contract extension that would keep them in a Lakers uniform for the foreseeable future.
Earlier in the year, Pau Gasol signed a deal that would keep him in LA for at least three seasons which is nothing but good news for the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant, but for some reason the reigning NBA Finals MVP still wasn’t ready to agree to terms with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak.
Fortunately, the two sides did not want to head into the NBA off-season without agreeing to some sort of deal and as of April 2nd Kobe Bryant officially signed a three-year contract extension which will keep him in Los Angeles with the Lakers until 2013-14 NBA season.
Reportedly, this deal between Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant is extremely lucrative as arguably the best player in the league today will be making about $90 million over the next three seasons. If that weren’t impressive enough, Kobe is already set to make about $25 million over the next two seasons which makes him a very rich man.
As of right now, the Los Angeles Lakers are still fighting for a chance at repeating as NBA champions as they will head into the NBA playoffs as the number one overall seed in the Western Conference.
It has not been an easy road for Kobe Bryant and company recently as they have struggled from time to time and will have to play without starting center Andrew Bynum who was out with an Achilles injury.
Needless to say, sixth man Lamar Odom will step into the starting lineup and try and help the Lakers get back to the NBA finals in which they might be headed towards a battle against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.