Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 7/11/13
The Los Angeles Lakers are eyeing a rebuild. However, when you have the pressures that come with being the NBA’s premier franchise, a rebuild doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing for them as it does to every other team. Rather than breaking the team down to its bare bones and retooling through the draft over several seasons, the Lakers are clearly planning with the 2014 offseason in mind, with its stacked free agent class. Likewise, when you’re looking to acquire talent through the market, it always helps to not be tied down with other financial obligations. Steve Nash is the only current Laker signed for the 2014-15 season, but the specter of Kobe Bryant continues to hover over Los Angeles. Though Bryant’s current contract runs out after the upcoming season, the Lakers great has publicly stated that he’s planning to play another two or three years in the league. So, would Bryant be willing to take a pay cut on his next contract to allow the Lakers to sign another franchise player or two? “I’m not taking any [pay cut] at all — that’s the negotiation that you have to have,” Bryant told LakersNation.com. “For me to sit here and say, ‘Oh yeah, I’m just going to take a huge pay cut.’ Nah, I’m going to try to get as much as I possibly can.” There you have it. Though Bryant has consistently stated his near-obsessive desire to win a sixth NBA title and match Michael Jordan, apparently that won’t come at the expense of money.
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