And-Ones: Projected Taxpayers, Parity, Sovereign Funds, Scola

The Warriors, Clippers, and Nets are the three teams projected to pay a nine-figure luxury bill in 2023, according to Eric Pincus of Sports Business Classroom. In his roundup of each team’s proximity to the tax line, Pincus has Golden State’s tax bill estimated at $176.5MM, with L.A. at $144.7MM and Brooklyn at approximately $109MM.

The 2021/22 campaign represented a record-setting year for luxury tax payments, with the Warriors, Nets, and Clippers heading up seven taxpayers that were penalized a total of $481MM, by far a single-season NBA high.

However, as Pincus outlines, NBA teams are on track to smash that record in 2022/23, with the Bucks ($69.8MM), Celtics ($66MM), Lakers ($40.6MM), Mavericks ($33.6MM), Suns ($32.6MM), Nuggets ($17.6MM), and Sixers ($1.8MM) joining the three aforementioned clubs to total over $692MM in projected tax payments.

That number will likely dip a little before the end of the season, with certain teams trading some salary to reduce their end-of-season bill and others – such as Philadelphia – perhaps trying to get out of tax territory altogether. But it seems safe to assume the teams that finish the season below the tax line will still see a major windfall.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • There’s more parity than ever at the one-quarter mark of the 2022/23 NBA season, according to Howard Beck of, who breaks down the numbers on the glut of teams hovering around .500 and explores several theories from people around the league about why parity might be on the rise.
  • ESPN’s Brian Windhorst takes a closer look at the NBA’s rule change allowing sovereign wealth funds to purchase minority stakes in NBA franchises, which we briefly covered last week. Under the new policy, a foreign fund could buy up to 20% of a team, though any such purchase would be “subject to significant vetting,” sources tell Windhorst. There are currently no sales to sovereign funds under review by the league, Windhorst adds.
  • In an interesting piece for The Athletic, Mike Vorkunov speaks to Luis Scola about the veteran NBA forward’s transition from longtime player to team owner. Scola, who appeared in 743 games across 10 NBA seasons from 2007-17 and won an Olympic gold medal playing for Argentina in 2004, became the controlling owner of the Italian team Pallacanestro Varese earlier this year.
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