Bryant looking to bounce back after season disrupted by injuries last year…
An anonymous NBA general manager insists that Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has “zero” trade value after signing a two-year deal worth $48.5m.
With the veteran guard recovering from a torn Achilles tendon last season, the Lakers announced that he had signed an extension which shocked many considering the figures involved.
While it made the 36-year-old the highest-paid player in the league, it also ensured that he would retire from the game playing his entire career with the Lakers.
Nevertheless, it was also criticised from a point of view that although it was admirable of the Lakers to reward Bryant and his loyalty over the years, it arguably left them in a weaker position in the free agency markets moving forward in acquiring talent to play alongside him.
The Lakers have brought in both Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer this off-season as they look to challenge in a competitive Western Conference and return to the playoffs at the very least.
However, according to one general manager, the sentimental value of keeping their ties together were also going to ensure that it had a significant impact on Bryant’s worth in the market.
“Seven months after he ruptured his left Achilles tendon—and three weeks before he fractured his left kneecap—Bryant signed a $48.5 million, two-year deal,” Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated noted.
“The contract, widely derided as the worst in the game, makes Bryant nearly impossible to move, even were the Lakers to try. Asked about Kobe’s value on the market, one GM answers definitively: “Zero. Look at that number. Who takes him?”
While the statement perhaps provides more shock value than surprise, it is widely accepted that the point is irrelevant as Bryant was never likely to be available.
The Lakers star is ultimately tied to the purple and gold for the final years of his career, and he will leave the NBA with the same team as he entered it after establishing his legacy in Los Angeles.