As teams get their books in order for the 2013/14 season, navigating the salary cap and the luxury tax threshold, Marc Stein of ESPN.com takes a look back at the league's 2012/13 finances. Stein shares the official list of teams that paid the luxury tax in 2011/12, along with the amount each club paid. The list is as follows:
- Los Angeles Lakers: $29,259,739
- Miami Heat: $13,346,242
- Brooklyn Nets: $12,883,647
- New York Knicks: $9,962,406
- Chicago Bulls: $3,932,336
- Boston Celtics: $1,181,640
The more punitive luxury-tax penalties introduced in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement are kicking in for the 2013/14 season, so the tax penalties for the aforementioned six teams come by way of the old system — teams are penalized $1 for every dollar they spend over the tax line. In 2012/13, that tax line was at $70,307,000, so the Celtics, for instance, spent $71,488,640 on team salary, plus the additional $1,181,640 in taxes.
Although the increasing tax rates will take effect this coming season, the additional penalties for repeat taxpayers won't be in play until the 2014/15 season. Teams in the tax for four seasons in any five-year period will be subject to that tax, so it's worth noting that the Lakers, Heat, and Celtics were all taxpayers last season as well. With L.A. and Miami projected to be well into the tax again for '13/14, both teams will have to cut costs the following season if they hope to avoid the repeater tax.
With a total of $70,566,010 in tax payments due before the end of the month, 50% of that amount will be distributed equally to non-taxpayers, as Stein writes. That means that each of the 24 clubs not listed above will receive 1/24th of $35,283,005, which works out to $1,470,125 per team.
For a more thorough breakdown of how the tax will be assessed going forward, check out our glossary entry, and if you're interested in the complete history of tax payments by NBA teams, visit ShamSports.com, where Mark Deeks has updated his spreadsheets on the subject.