Kobe Bryant‘s knee injury doesn’t affect the Lakers’ short- or long-term picture, according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe, who writes that the team wasn’t going to make the playoffs this season either way and was already locked into Kobe’s two-year extension. In his latest Lakers-centric piece, Lowe writes that he’s talked to “dozens” of GMs, execs, coaches, and scouts around the league about Kobe’s new deal, and while some acknowledge that it makes business sense, none have been willing to call it a good contract. Here’s more on the Lakers:
- While it makes sense for the Lakers to gauge Pau Gasol‘s market value, Lowe notes that there are plenty of roadblocks to finding a logical trade partner, including Pau’s $19MM+ salary and L.A.’s desire not to take on long-term money. Lowe mentions the Cavaliers, Bobcats, Suns as potential players for Gasol, though it sounds like he’s speculating about the possible fit rather than reporting any actual discussions. Ultimately, the Lakers may be better off holding on to Pau and re-signing him to a two-year contract, says Lowe.
- As he faces another six weeks of recovery time, Bryant tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that “only an idiot” would doubt his ability to return from his latest injury.
- Jodie Meeks will draw interest in free agency next summer and figures to earn a raise on this year’s $1.55MM salary if he continues to play well. However, if it’s up to him, the 26-year-old guard would “love to be a Laker for a long time,” as he says to Lang Greene of HoopsWorld.
- Faced with a scarcity of options at the point, the Lakers reached an agreement with 2012 lottery pick Kendall Marshall and made the signing official today.