It’s a weird question to ask considering Kobe Bryant’s skillset and the emotions surrounding the torn left Achilles’ tendon that will keep him out for the next six to nine months.
But will the Lakers use a one-time amnesty provision to rid themselves of Bryant’s final year of his contract worth $30.5 million?
“That’s not even something we’ve discussed,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “That’s the furthest thing from our mind right now.”
The other three eligible players the Lakers could cut using the amnesty provision include Pau Gasol ($19.3 million), Metta World Peace ($7.7 million) and Steve Blake ($4 million). Those players are the only the eligible candidates since they’re the only ones remaining on the roster from July 2011. Waiving Bryant could save the Lakers up to $80 million in luxury taxes, though they would have to pay his salary. Teams can waive players using this provision from July 10-16.
Still, the Lakers won’t do that both because of Bryant’s value to the team’s brand. More importantly, Bryant is expected to return just before the 2013-14 season. The Lakers could re-sign Bryant in July 2014 after his contract expires, though the Lakers star has hinted before his injury that he would retire at that point.
FolloW L.A Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org