Will Kobe Bryant’s Exit Make LA Lakers a More Appealing Free-Agent Destination?

December 2nd, 2015 by Michael Pina Leave a reply »

Once upon a time, the Los Angeles Lakers were the most beloved destination for the shiniest NBA stars. Late owner Dr. Jerry Buss treated summers like a stress-free spa retreat, where weaknesses were replenished and muscles were flexed. 

But the past three offseasons ran counter to history.

Since 2013, the Lakers have been spurned by Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe, Kevin Love, DeAndre Jordan and a few other high-profile players. 


Losing is the most obvious factor. Their record since Howard left in 2013 is 50-131. Eventually, they’ll have to forfeit a first-round draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, too, which could hinder an organic turnaround. 

Through it all, the common denominator was a stewing Kobe Bryant and his monstrous two-year, $48.5 million contract. An annual salary that bloated is usually reserved for true franchise-altering talent, not aging heroes on the edge of a physical breakdown. The money obliterated all of Los Angeles’ financial flexibility, and Bryant’s persona& ...

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