A short sharp examination of how paying luxury tax does not necessarily correlate with winning
February 27th, 2014

An important and unique feature of this website is the annual monitoring of every luxury tax dollar paid in NBA history. Using that data, here’s a short sharp hot sports take. The ten highest individual team luxury tax payments of all time: 1) 2013/14 Brooklyn Nets: $89,582,458 (assuming that Jason Collins signs for the remainder of the season on 4th March, his first allowable opportunity) 2) 2002/03 Portland Trail Blazers: $51,971,000 (rounded only to the nearest $1,000) 3) 2006/07 New York Knicks: $45,142,002 4) 2003/04 New York Knicks: $39,867,214 5) 2005/06 New York Knicks: $37,248,752 6) 2012/13 L.A. Lakers: $29,259,739 7) 2003/04 Portland Trail Blazers: $28,846,436 8) 2003/04 Dallas Mavericks: $25,031,932 9) 2002/03 New York Knicks: $24,371,000 (rounded only to the nearest $1,000) 10) 2008/09 New York Knicks: $23,736,207 The records of those respective teams: 1) 2013/14 Brooklyn Nets: 26-29 2) 2002/03 Portland Trail Blazers: 50-32 3) 2006/07 New York Knicks: 33-49 4) 2003/04 New York Knicks: 39-43 5) 2005/06 New York Knicks: 23-59 6) 2012/13 L.A. Lakers: 45-37 7) 2003/04 Portland Trail Blazers: 41-41 8) 2003/04 Dallas Mavericks: 52-30 9) 2002/03 New York Knicks: 37-45 10) 2008/09 New York Knicks: 32-50 Total expenditure: $395,056,740 Total record: 378-415

Posted by at 9:08 PM

How do you solve a problem like Taj Gibson? A follow-up.
February 9th, 2014

Despite it running in the initial instance with a rather significant error in it – I spent a lot of time breaking down how the Bulls had arrived at, and would extricate themselves from, a luxury tax position that they weren’t actually at – the previous post entitled How Do You Solve A Problem Like Taj Gibson? received a remarkably hearty welcome. So, thank you for that. However, as is always the way with pieces that deal with salary minutiae and machinations, and appraisals of team’s proximities to the salary cap and luxury tax thresholds, there has been some misunderstanding of what was said and meant. This considerably briefer follow-up will hopefully clarify these issues. 1) The fact that Taj Gibson has these unlikely bonuses that the Bulls may find necessary to alleviate via a trade does NOT mean that Taj will be the one traded. This seems to be a conclusion that a lot of readers have drawn, and it is one with which I couldn’t disagree more. Taj is neither the problem nor the solution here – indeed, there isn’t really a problem, and even if there was, it is one much more easily solved via trades of others. Mike Dunleavy Jr, say, or Kirk Hinrich. Or even Tornike Shengelia again. This is not to say that Taj cannot or will not be traded – he might. He is coveted and sought after, and competitively priced. However, if he is traded, this isn’t why. 2) I agree that the bonuses are not all that likely to be met, and particularly the all-defensive first team one. The Bulls presumably know that too. But they have to operate on the basis that it might, on the basis that it might. 3) The fact that the Bulls can pay the luxury […]

Posted by at 1:47 PM