Lakers Are One Of Eight NBA Teams To Pay Luxury Tax In 2023-24
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has instituted some new financial rules and the luxury tax payments are going to be even stepper than they were previously. The Los Angeles Lakers have long been a franchise willing to pay the necessary costs in order to be successful, and while that remains the case, they weren’t nearly as loose with their money as other teams.

The luxury tax level for the 2023-24 season was around $165 million and the Lakers did go over that, but just barely. They were one of the right teams to go over that mark this season and thus will pay a tax bill, but they are actually eighth on that list.

ESPN insider Bobby Marks recently released a list of unofficial luxury tax payments for those franchises over that line. The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers have far and away the biggest tax bills while the Lakers have the smallest of those who have to pay:

The Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat were the other teams who had to pay the luxury tax and it makes sense as all eight teams came into the season with championship aspirations. However, the willingness to spend did not lead to success for most of the franchises.

The Warriors didn’t even make the playoffs while the Lakers, Clippers, Bucks, Heat and Suns were all eliminated in the first round. Injuries certainly played a big role in the success, or lack thereof, of many of these teams, but this seems to show that it isn’t about a franchise’s willingness to spend, but rather how they spend their money and bringing in the right players.

As the Lakers enter this offseason with the hopes of rising back to championship contention, the pressure will be on Rob Pelinka, Jeanie Buss and the front office to find the right pieces for the right prices and get this franchise back to the top of the mountain.

Other franchises view Lakers as ‘frugal’

Having one of the eight highest payrolls in the NBA would seem to show the Lakers are still willing to spend big, but that apparently isn’t the view of those around the league.

A recent report noted that the general opinion around the NBA is that the Lakers front office is ‘frugal’ and some wonder whether they can keep up with the new wave of owners coming into the NBA that are willing to spend big not just on the roster, but staffing and facilities as well.

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