The Los Angeles Lakers and owner Jerry Buss are not afraid to spend money. They understand a lot must be invested in order to build a championship team and there is really no other way to do it.
The Lakers just acquired Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, two players that will draw a lot of attention and money. Not to mention they already have Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, two players that make up a bulk of the cap space for the upcoming season. As of this point, the Lakers will have a payroll of $99.2 million for the 2012-13 season, but will have to pay more due to the luxury tax the league has put in place.
However, the Los Angeles Times reports that the Lakers may have a bigger bill for the 2013-14 season. If the Lakers end up signing Howard to a max contract, that will increase their payroll to $105 million which will mean the Lakers will have to pay an additional $94.5 million in taxes. That totals up to a $199.5 million bill that Jerry Buss may have to pay.
If their final payroll was $105 million, that would put them $32 million over the league’s projected tax threshold of $73 million, triggering a tax of $94.5 million and putting the team on the hook for a staggering total of $199.5 million — a 55.9% increase over the total for this season with essentially the same group of core players.
Under the new CBA, there will be harsher penalties for teams that go over the luxury tax. Many teams have planned their payrolls to avoid the taxes, but the Lakers have not made many major cutbacks. The new CBA discouraged some teams from spending, but that is not the case for the Lakers.
The Lakers also have the 25-year, $5 billion television deal they struck with Time Warner Cable, a contract that will help alleviate the pain. Time Warner Cable will pay the Lakers $120 million in the first year, a sum of cash that can assist in paying the bills at Staples Center.
This week’s edition of Locker Room Talk discusses who defenses will double-team this season.