Lakers News: Kobe Bryant’s Deal Will Help LA Lure in Superstar This Summer

Not only did the Los Angeles Lakers lock up Kobe Bryant for seemingly the rest of his NBA career on Monday, but they greatly improved their sales pitch for the top free agents in the 2014 summer class. 

Bryant dominated headlines throughout Monday when both sides agreed to his two-year, $48.5 million extension, per 

The five-time NBA champion foreshadowed his possible retirement after the deal with this hashtag preceding a shot of his "John Hancock":

Questions circled around the Lakers front office entering this pivotal season, as Bryant's previous contract was set to expire at the end of the 2013-14 season. Los Angeles has been talked about in the same sentence as potential 2014 free agents LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony ever since the end of last season. 

Where did Bryant fit into that equation? Apparently, right in the middle of it. This organization hasn't abandoned its pursuit of luring in a big name this summer; the Lakers have just made it clear what type of team they will be beyond the summer.

With Bryant in the fold for the next two years, you can bet that the Lakers will be on the short list for many, if not all, of the best free agents in 2014. 

Why? Championships and other star players are the two most sought-after commodities for the top free agents every year.

Bryant has five rings and is one of the greatest players of all time. He has averaged more than 27 points per game in each of his last two seasons, so it's not like his individual stardom has worn off despite missing out on the title hunt in recent years. 

When today's players think of the Lakers, they think of Kobe Bryant. The decades upon decades of greatness and banners aplenty matter a lot less when your sidekick is Xavier Henry, Jordan Hill or Nick Young. If L.A. had lost Kobe, it would've all but given away its hopes of luring in...

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