In this first season of the new labor agreement in which teams are still only being charged $1 for every $1 over the tax line they sit, we’re already down to six teams on course to wind up as tax teams. And only one of those six teams — Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers — is looking at a tax bill that strays beyond the $10 million mark.
You’ll recall that as recently as last season, Orlando, Dallas and the Lakers finished the season with payrolls in the range of $20 million past the tax line.
The following are the estimated dollar-for-dollar tax amounts, after all of this month’s trade business, for the six teams over the $70.3 million tax threshold in effect in 2011-12:
• L.A. Lakers: $15.1 million after donating Lamar Odom’s $8.9 million contract before the season started to gets their payroll down.
• Boston: $9.1 million
• Miami: $7.6 million
• Dallas: $5.6 million
• San Antonio: $2.9 million
• Atlanta: $1.2 million
Ps. The total pot of paid taxes is thus poised to land in the $41.5 million range at season’s end, but sources say that money will not be distributed to the 24 non-taxpaying teams after this season as in past seasons. The tax money, sources say, is earmarked for the league’s new revenue-sharing system.