As reported by The Times,
While Bryant could end up paying 50% to 60% in combined taxes and agent fees, even if his take-home was $12 million -- that's a sizable figure.
Why exactly would Bryant have his contract structured with such a large lump sum up front?
The easy answer -- because he can. At least under the rules of the
While Bryant may have his own unique reasons, the economic principle of future value takes into account how much $12 million is worth in Bryant's possession -- not just in November, but over the course of the entire year.
The sooner Bryant is in possession of his salary, even after the government gets a hefty share in taxes, the quicker he can invest that money.
If he can bring back 5% on a $12-million investment, he'll have more than $12.6 million in a year. And 10% would grow it to $13.3 million.
If that money is in the possession of the Lakers, doled out to Bryant twice a month (as the remaining $6.1 million of his salary will be paid), it's the organization that is gaining the benefit of cash on hand.
Investments, taxes, economics, etc. -- the general rule of thumb is it's better to get as much money as possible up front.