Money doesn’t buy success, although it usually helps. With a cap hit of over $117 million, the Brooklyn Nets will pay a record breaking $90.57 million in luxury taxes for their payroll during the 2013-2014 NBA Season, which ended in the conference semifinal.
The Nets were going to pay a lot of money anyway due to their contracts with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez not including bench players like Andrei Kirilenko, Marcus Thornton and Mirza Teletovic, but trading for Paul Pierce (making $15 million last season) and Kevin Garnett (making $12 million) took them beyond a threshold that has only been crossed three other times since 2001.
The Nets are going to pay a lot of taxes next season as well, with a cap hit of $89 million at the moment. The salary cap has risen to $63 million next season, and the luxury tax line will be $76.8 million. Both the cap and the luxury tax line are slightly less than the projections teams have been working according to over the last month or so.
This means maximum salaries, not that the Nets can offer any, are on the rise as well. Players with 0-6 years of experience can make $14.7 million on the first year of the max deal, players with 7-9 years can start from $17.7 million and players with 10 or more years in the league will start off from $20.6 million.
The Nets weren’t the only ones who paid luxury tax last season: The New York Knicks ($36.3 million), Miami Heat ($14.4 million), Los Angeles Lakers ($8.9 million) and the Los Angeles Clippers ($1.3 million) also went past the tax threshold. Each non-taxpaying team will receive $3 million as part of the dispersal.