by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Back in December, the Lakers gave Pau Gasol a three-year extension to keep the supremely talented big in L.A. through the 2013-14 season. Today, they announced that Kobe Bryant will remain a Laker for at least the same amount of time.

Bryant’s deal is reportedly worth close to $90 million (making him the League`s highest paid player), and GM Mitch Kupchak says the team is extremely pleased with it. I’ll bet they are.

Here are Mitch’s comments on the deal, via the team’s official website:

“We are extremely pleased that we were able to reach an agreement and come to terms on the extension at this time,” said Kupchak. “Kobe has been a cornerstone of the Lakers for well over a decade, helping to lead us to four NBA Championships and in the process developing into one of the greatest players in basketball history.”

“Two of our main goals heading into this season were to sign Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol to contract extensions,” continued Kupchak. “With the signing of Pau earlier this season and the signing of Kobe today, we were able to accomplish those goals, helping to keep the core of this team intact for the foreseeable future and in turn help to ensure the franchise’s continued success over the years to come.”

The team`s core — Bryant, Gasol, Artest, Odom, Bynum — is set for the long-term. Now, they just gotta figure out what to do about their coaching and point guard situations going forward …