Kobe Bryant is taking a $7 million pay cut next season.

Of course, he’s still going to make $23 million and be the highest paid player in the NBA, which left a lot of Lakers’ fans shaking their heads. They get the business reasons this is a good deal for the Lakers, but how does this really help their rebuilding effort again?

You can add Phil Jackson to the list of the confused.

He was interviewed Thursday night on NBA TV and asked if at Kobe’s age and coming off an Achilles injury if Jackson would have re-signed him (answer transcribed by Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie)”

“Yeah, I would have,” Jackson answered quickly, before briefly pausing and adding: “They paid him more than I would have gone for….

“But what he’s given to this organization, what he gives back — he brings a certain sense of, ‘We are going to win,’” Jackson said. “You’ve got to have a guy on the team that doesn’t settle for second. That’s one of the areas where the value of Kobe, even at this age, is terrific.”

This summer the Lakers have everyone but Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash (who in theory could retire) and Robert Sacre coming off the books (there are options on Kendall Marshall and Ryan Kelly).