Morning Shootaround: Kobe Payday

Kobe's big payday
Hawks vs. Lakers, 9:30 p.m.

Kobe Bryant makes a lot of money. Like nearly $30.5 million this year. He is one of the highest paid players in the NBA and that is not going to change any time soon. The Lakers are even preparing to discuss a new contract extension with the superstar soon.

And this is all before the Lakers find out if he can indeed come back from a torn Achilles.

Bryant's contract is one of the few in the league that has a no-trade clause. What Bryant wants with the Lakers he gets. That is what more than a decade of play and a few championships earn you in political capital within an organization.

The contract also comes with its quirks too.

According to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, Bryant is set to receive a little less than $24.4 million as part of a negotiated baloon payment in his two year extension. The rest of his contract will be spread out over this year and next. It is nice to be able to say, 'Oh, I have $30 million due the next two years and I have more than $20 million in the bank right now.'

Life in the NBA can be pretty awesome. Now about that California tax bill. . . .

Magic Johnson: Nets have most talent
Nets vs. Magic, 6 p.m.

It is just two games into the Nets experience, and they are 1-1 at that. But the win over the Heat on Friday at Barclays Center has made believers out of a lot of people. Magic Johnson included. Johnson told Tim Bontemps of The New York Post that he believes the Nets are the most talented team in the NBA. They have a lineup that features five former All Stars and they are certainly not afraid to show it. Now they get their head coach back from his two-game suspension.

Sixers now 3-0
76ers 107, Bulls 104

There are always some teams that surprise at the beginning of the season. Teams that do something completely unexpected and defy expectations. Many of these teams begin to fall back to the pack once the sample size gets a bit bigger. The 76ers are defying all odds and predictions right now. They are 3-0. Michael Carter-Williams scored 26 points and dished out 10 assists to continue his stellar debut. What else is there to say?

Cavs offense still struggling
Pacers 89, Cavaliers 74

This might become a typical Pacers game. The Cavaliers though are going to be looking to score to cover up some of their defensive shortcomings. A 34.9 percent shooting performance, even against one of the best defensive teams in the league, is not going to get the job done. Lance Stephenson had 22 points and Paul George had 21 points as the Pacers coasted to the win. Kyrie Irving had 15 points on 6-for-17 shooting, highlighting the Cavaliers scoring troubles.

Mavs scoring barrage continues
Mavericks 111, Grizzlies 99

The Mavericks may not be competing for a title realistically this year. But this Dallas team sure is starting to remind of those early years with Don Nelson as the head coach when Dirk Nowitzki was running with Steve Nash and Michael Finley. The offense is flowing really well right now. Mark down another impressive performance from Dallas' offense. Nowitzki had 24 points and Shawn Marion had 21 points and 14 rebounds in a scoring barrage that occurred despite shooting 40 percent from the floor.

Thompson, Curry heat up again
Warriors 98, Kings 87

The cold snap the Warriors faced while they were in Los Angeles did not last very long. Not very long at all. The Warriors got 27 points from Klay Thompson and 22 points from Stephen Curry. The two combined to make 8 of 16 3-pointers. Most teams would take that. This was just those two players. These Warriors rely on the 3-pointer pretty heavily. With Curry, that may be more of a sure thing than normal.

Batum's triple double beats Spurs
Trail Blazers 115, Spurs 105

Nicolas Batum recorded the first triple double of the young season as Portland scored a big upset at home against the defending Western Conference champions. Batum scored 11 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. The Blazers had three 20-point scorers in the lineup led by LaMarcus Aldridge. Tim Duncan returned to the lineup to score 24 points for the Spurs. It was not enough as the Blazers offense had their rhythm.

Old court, old results
Raptors 97, Bucks 90

The Bucks' home opener did not go as planned even before the calendar turned to Saturday. The court the Bucks hoped to unveil needed resurfacing. That is hitch one. Hitch two is the Bucks still do not look like a team that will compete for the Playoffs. O.J. Mayo's 16 points and 10 rebounds were not enough. Not nearly enough. Sure Rudy Gay was Rudy Gay with 18 points and 14 rebounds on 4-for-14 shooting. Both teams have more questions than answers early on this season.

Pelicans get ironic first win
Pelicans 105, Bobcats 84

Do not let my logos confuse you. Charlotte did not earn any type of win in this one. Only the New Orleans Pelicans got the win . . . and a somewhat ironic one at that. The team formerly known as the Hornets scored their first victory as the Pelicans by defeating the team that will soon be named the Hornets. Confused yet? Don't be. Anthony Davis scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Pelicans broke through to get the win.

Rockets storm back
Rockets 104, Jazz 91

The Rockets fell behind by 17 points in Salt Lake City. Then their talent took over. Not even the aging Richard Jefferson could stop that. Chandler Parsons stuffed the stat sheet with 24 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Jeremy Lin had 20 points and Jeremy Harden had 23 points. Lines like that could become normal in the Rockets box score. What might be normal for the Jazz could be Richard Jefferson leading the team with 18 points. Yikes.

Nene, Wall gametime decisions
Wizards vs. Heat, 6 p.m.

Playing the Heat after the Heat suffered their first losing streak since last January already sounds pretty daunting. The Wizards might have to do it without two of their top players. Michael Lee of the Washington Post reports that both John Wall and Nene will be gametime decisions for tonight's game in South Florida. Both are obviously pretty key players. Having Bradley Beal snap out of his early season funk would be nice too.

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily