In the 2013-2014 NBA season, there are seven teams that will be over the luxury tax line – all of them in big markets which makes it less of a problem than it would be on the rest of the league. The New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers are the obvious choices, but the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat and the run down Boston Celtics are also in the tax zone for next season.
Los Angeles Clippers – $0.7 Million Over the Tax Line
Most of the money the Los Angeles Clippers is going to Chris Paul ($18.7 million), Blake Griffin ($16.4 million) and DeAndre Jordan ($10.9 Million), but their moves this offseason brought over J.J. Redick, who’ll be making $6.3 million and Jared Dudley, making $4.25 million. The Clippers will owe $1.1 million worth of tax money.
Boston Celtics – $2.2 Million Over the Tax Line
The Celtics don’t really have anyone impressive lineup up to play for them except for Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green, but the multitude of contracts they got in the deal with the Brooklyn Nets makes them look like a team that can run for the title, at least according to the money they’re paying, which means they’ll owe $3.4 million next season in taxes.
Los Angeles Lakers – $5.6 Million Over the Tax Line
The Lakers couldn’t make any meaningful moves this summer, but they did release Metta World Peace through the Amnesty Clause in order to save money on the luxury tax, getting his $7.7 million salary off the books. Kobe Bryant will be making more than $30 million next season, while Pau Gasol gets $19.3 million and Steve Nash is at $9.3 million; those three veterans alone clog up the salary cap, preventing the Lakers from making meaningful moves. They’ll be paying $8.6 million in taxes next season.
Chicago Bulls – $6.5 Million Over the Tax Line
The Chicago Bulls are paying four players an eight-figure salary next season, with Derrick Rose making his comeback while earning $17.6 million. Carlos Boozer, the usual amnesty candidate, follows with $15.3 million, and he’s trailed by Luol Deng, making $14.3 million and Joakim Noah, making $11.1 million. Taj Gibson, shocking to many, causes a cap hit of $7.5 million next season. They’ll be paying $10.1 million in tax money next season.
Miami Heat – $10 Million Over the Tax Line
The Heat amnestied Mike Miller in order to minimize the tax hit despite his big role in winning their two NBA titles. The obvious load on the salary cap are the big three, making a combined $56.6 million next season. They’ll be paying over $16 million in tax money in 2013-2014.
New York Knicks – $14.3 Million Over the Tax Line
It’s hard to remember when was the last time when the Knicks weren’t paying so much money to have a less than impressive team, but luckily, they can afford it. The Knicks, like the Bulls, have four players making more than $11 million next season – Carmelo Anthony ($22.4 million), Amare Stoudemire ($21.7 million), Andrea Bargnani ($11.8 million) and Tyson Chandler ($14.1 million). They will be paying over $27 million in tax money.
Brooklyn Nets – $30.4 Million Over the Tax Line
If there’s one team that doesn’t seem to care about the money they’re overpaying players, the Nets are it. They have Joe Johnson making $21.4 million next season, followed by Deron Williams at $18.4 million, Paul Pierce at $15.3 million, Brook Lopez at $14.6 million, and Kevin Garnett at $12 million. They’ll be paying $87.199 million in owed tax money next season.