Forget all that stuff about Kobe Bryant returning from an Achilles' tendon injury this season. It'll happen at some point.
The real question involves next season. He might not return at all to the Lakers.
Bryant is entering the last nine months of his contract a season worth $30.45 million before he can become a free agent in July.
He has known only one team in his 17-year career and often says he'll be a Laker for life but will that be the case?
The Lakers haven't opened contract negotiations with Bryant according to a person with knowledge of the situation taking a wait-and-see approach as he recovers from his injury.
Bryant 35 has done incredible things for the franchise pushing it to five championships and two other NBA Finals appearances in his 17 seasons. His jersey is continually among the league's top sellers his first name easily recognizable even with non-sports fans.
But the Lakers are already salivating over their salary-cap space next summer. Only Steve Nash Rober...