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Jim Buss: Kobe Won’t Become A Free Agent
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On October 25, 2013 @ 11:16 pm In NBA | No Comments
Kobe Bryant isn’t going anywhere.
Los Angeles Lakers executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss said Friday that the team has started talks with Bryant’s representative on a contract extension for the five-time NBA champion and fully expects a new deal to be completed before the star guard can become a free agent on July 1, 2014.
“I want to put an end to any speculation that we would allow Kobe to become a free agent,” Buss told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Friday night. “That’s not going to happen. Kobe is a top priority for us. He’s a Laker legend and always will be. I don’t think we’re done winning championships with him yet.
“[Lakers general manager] Mitch Kupchak and [Bryant's agent] Rob Pelinka have been talking, but with him being hurt, it has slowed the process some. I don’t know when it’ll get done, but I have faith in Rob and Mitch to work things out.”
Bryant, 35, is in the final year of a current deal that will pay him $30.5 million this season, the highest salary in the NBA. He’s recovering from surgery on his Achilles tendon and hasn’t set a return date yet.
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