Photo: Getty Images/Kevork Djansezian
The Los Angeles Lakers have always rebuilt their teams to win no matter what the cost.Adding Dwight Howard was no different.
The only difference this time around is that having a roster filled with high salaries will cost teams more and more down the line as the NBA’s punitive tax laws start to kick in.
ESPN’s Henry Abbott asked NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement expert Larry Coon to make a rough estimate of what it will cost the Lakers to field a team with stars like Howard, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Steve Nash.
…he guessed that salaries, revenue sharing, and luxury tax could cost the Lakers close to $240 million in 2013-2014. And the season after that is when the especially punitive repeater tax, for perennial high-spenders, kicks in.
In other words: This Laker roster is barely affordable now, and due for a massive day of reckoning when the NBA’s real “system” is fully up and running.
That’s an unbelievable amount of money and depends on Howard signing an extension next summer, which he will (here are $118 million reasons why).
It’s not as if the Lakers don’t have enough funds to pay that $240 million bill, though. The team sells out every single home game, is the most recognisable NBA team brand worldwide, and recently agreed to a new TV rights deal that will give them up to $5 billion over the next 25 years.
Kobe has said he won’t play much longer and Gasol and Nash are getting up there in age, so eventually the Lakers’ roster associated costs will go down, but if recent history is an indicator LA will just replace them with other high paid superstars.
The new CBA was supposed to keep teams from doing this, but the powers that be clearly forgot the Lakers have no limit.
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