With the Lakers facing tremendous luxury taxes next season, could the team cut ties a year early with Kobe Bryant?
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban suggests that it's not necessarily a black-and-white issue.
"If you look at their payroll ... you've got to ask that question, 'Should they amnesty Kobe?'" Cuban said on ESPN's "Ben and Skin Show" in Dallas.
The Lakers still have their one-time amnesty provision that would allow them to waive a single player. Though Bryant would still earn his entire salary, his contract would come off the books when computing the team's total payroll and luxury tax.
The Lakers who qualify for amnesty include Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace, Steve Blake and Bryant.
According to the rules of the current collective bargaining agreement, tax rates climb exponentially next season. If the Lakers re-sign Dwight Howard at roughly $20 million a season, they could be paying in the neighborhood of $60 million to $90 million in taxes (depending on total payroll and thresholds set by the league in July).