Kobe Bryant expected to be ruled out for season with knee injury, per report

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It never made much sense for him to come back during a lost season, and the Lakers are planning on making the inevitable official at some point this week.

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to announce Kobe Bryant will miss the remainder of the 2013-14 season with a knee injury, according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report.

The news comes as the Lakers are firmly situated in the cellar of the Western Conference with a record of 22-42 through March 11. Because of that status as one of the league's worst teams, Bryant has no reason to rush back after missing all but six games this season.

Los Angeles awarded Bryant a two-year, $48.5 million extension in November, and the Lakers legend will turn 36 years-old in August. He'll still be expected to serve as the centerpiece of a future roster with several holes.

General manager Mitch Kupchak has made it clear he expects Bryant to play at a high level when Bryant returns next season and he will be a focal point of the team moving forward.

What will complicate matters is the fact that the 2014 free agent crop won't be as deep as the 2015 group. The Lakers will presumably have plenty of cap space to sign talent over the upcoming offseason, but a better class of available players will be in play the following year, the final season of Bryant's current contract and potentially his career.

The silver lining is that Kupchak and the front office will have the final 18 games of the season to evaluate more talent among their current roster.

In six games, the perennial All-Star averaged 13.8 points, 6.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds.

More from SBNation.com

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.