HoopsHype Amnesty rumors
The L.A. Lakers and Kobe Bryant go together like peanut butter and bananas ... and the Lakers wouldn't dream of dumping him to save a few million bucks -- so says Lakers guard Steve Nash. There's a lot of talk going 'round that the Lakers might cut Kobe after he tore his Achilles last week ... because it would save them a fortune in luxury taxes on his salary -- roughly $80 million to be exact. But Nash doesn't believe a word of it ... telling TMZ, "Kobe is synonymous with the Lakers ... He's a strong person. He'll come back stronger than ever." TMZ.com
The Lakers are allowed to cut one of four players on their roster without paying luxury taxes on his salary. Bryant will make $30.5 million next season. The other eligible players are Pau Gasol ($19.3 million next season), Metta World Peace ($7.7 million) and Steve Blake ($4 million). Players can be amnestied only if they were on the roster dating back to July 2011. If the Lakers waived Bryant, they would save up to $80 million in luxury taxes but would still have to pay his salary. It's unlikely they would amnesty him because of the relatively short timetable for his return. If they did, teams under the salary cap this summer would submit undisclosed bids to the NBA office to claim Bryant. He would then belong to the team that bid the highest. The Lakers could then re-sign Bryant in July 2014, after his current contract expired. Los Angeles Times
In the long run, Kupchak downplayed the prospects of the Lakers using their one-time "amnesty" provision to waive Bryant during a one-week window in July. "That's not even something that we've discussed," he said. "That's the furthest thing from our mind right now." Los Angeles Times
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