NBA lockout: How new labor deal affects the Lakers
We knew before the NBA reached a labor deal that it likely would drastically affect the Lakers for the worse. We knew it could tighten their spending. We knew it could result in roster changes. We knew it could force the Lakers to share more of their revenue. But now that we know the actual details of the proposal, expected to be ratified among the owners and players this week, we can break down exactly what it will do.
1. New taxes. Lakers owner Jerry Buss often took on a heavy payroll with high luxury taxes in hopes it would pay off in a championship. Now he has to consider if such a tactic is worth the price. The Lakers, who had a league-high $91 million payroll last season, paid an additional $21 million in luxury taxes last year. The Times' Mike Bresnahan notes that the tax penalty will move from dollar to dollar to a $1.50 to $1 ratio for the first $5 million over the threshold beginning in the 2013-14 season. The ratio increases between $5 million to $10 million ($1.75 to $1), $10 million to $15 million ($2.50) and $15 million to $25 million ($3.25). That means the Lakers would pay an additional $68 million in luxury taxes if they maintain the $91 million payroll.
2. Sign-and-trade gives the Lakers a better chance to land Dwight Howard, Chris Paul or Deron Williams. Don't feel too bad for the Lakers. Sheridan Hoops' Mark Heisler noted the owners' willingness to keep sign-and-trades will allow the Lakers to trade Andrew Bynum for Howard, or Pau Gasol for Paul, once free agency hits next season. According to the terms of the proposal, obtained by Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick, teams can't pursue players via sign-and-trade after the 2012-2013 season if it causes their luxury taxes to jump over $4 million.
4. Lakers will have to share more revenue. The owners still have to iron out the details over this proposal, but it's fair to say the Lakers' lucrative Time Warner Cable deal beginning in the 2012-2013 season won't all just go into Buss' pocket.
5. The Lakers' options for a mid-level exception appear more limited. Bresnahan also reports the Lakers want to add a point guard either through free agency or through the amnesty provision. But the MLE will shrink from five years at $29 million to three years at $9.18 million.
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Photo: The Lakers' payroll for players, which includes Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom, will cost the team more than $100 million. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times / December 22, 2009)