Kobe Bryant signed a two-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.
The Lakers did not announce financial terms, but a source told ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne that the deal is worth $48.5 million.
Bryant, 35, will maintain his status as the NBA’s highest-paid player over the course of the extension, the source told Shelburne. The 2007-08 league MVP will receive $23.5 million in the first year and $25 million in the second year of the extension, according to the source.
The Lakers and Bryant arrived at the salaries so that the team will have the financial flexibility to pursue one top free agent on the market next summer, the source told Shelburne.
The 2014 free-agent class could include four-time MVP LeBron James and reigning league scoring champion Carmelo Anthony, who both can opt out of their contracts after this season.