Lakers, Pau Gasol agree on contract extension; Kobe Bryant next?
Reporting from New York – Lakers forward Pau Gasol has agreed in
principle to an extension that would keep him under contract through
2013-14, and Kobe Bryant has had ever-improving discussions on a
contract extension that would keep him with the Lakers for the same
On Friday, Gasol smiled and said, "I haven’t signed anything yet," but it was merely semantics, the stroke of a pen probably completing his extension within a few days after the Lakers’ trip ends Sunday in Detroit, according to sources close to the negotiations but not authorized to speak publicly.
Gasol, 29, made the Lakers instant championship contenders when he was acquired in February 2008 from the Memphis Grizzlies, but his current contract expires after next season. He is making $16.5 million this season and $17.8 million next season, though a three-year extension would net him an additional sum of up to $64.7 million, depending on NBA salary-cap figures to be determined in 2011.
Bryant, 31, is also having positive talks with the franchise with which he began his career in 1996. He is making $23 million this season and will make $24.8 million next season in the last year of his contract