NBA Franchise Notes: Nets Could Be Looking At Highest Luxury Tax Bill Ever
In N.Y., Howard Beck notes with the NBA's '13-14 salary cap set at $58.679M and the luxury tax threshold at $71.748M, the Nets will be "exceeding and escalating at a dizzying rate." The Nets' payroll after the addition of F Kevin Garnett and G Paul Pierce will be about $98M, "triggering a tax bill" of about $75M. That would be the "most any team has paid since the league instituted the luxury tax" in '02-03. It also would be "more than double the total taxes paid by all 30 teams combined" in the '11-12 season. The Nets under the old system would have paid $26.25M in taxes (N.Y. TIMES, 7/10).
LIGHTER IN THE WALLET: ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported six teams were "formally handed the bill for the tax payments they owe the league for last season's payrolls." The Lakers have the highest bill and will be "forced to pay $29,259,739 in luxury tax." The five other teams facing tax bills include the Heat, Nets, Knicks, Bulls and Celtics (ESPN.com, 7/9).
JAZZ FUSION: In Utah, Brad Rock wrote the Jazz have picked up "almost nobody" in opening days of free agency, and but that has "stirred up more excitement than if they'd added a bigger name to the old lineup." Rock: "Welcome to the Tomorrowland age of Jazz basketball. Looking back is pointless because, well, there’s nobody there." But the Jazz will be "seriously involved in free agency next year -- with a better pool from which to choose" (DESERETNEWS.com, 7/7). Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey's "options were to do something bold in free agency or just keep his future possibilities open." He "obviously chose patience" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 7/7).
A SLOW BUILD: Clippers F Blake Griffin said of whether L.A. is now a Clippers town instead of a Lakers town, "I know now when I go out there's a lot more Clippers fans that I run, into which is nice." Griffin: "The Lakers are a great franchise for a reason, with how many championships they've won. They're good for a reason. They're going to have their fans and they're going to have their team." But he added, "For us ... it's just about continuing that process of getting to that level, trying to get to that level because that's a level not many teams have reached" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 7/9).