The Nets paid $90,570,781 in luxury-tax payments last season alone.
That’s more than 26 NBA franchises – all but the Knicks, Mavericks, Lakers and Nets – have paid in the history of the tax, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com.
Brooklyn is line for another massive tax bill this season – $20,603,360, using data from Basketball Insiders. This will be the Nets’ third straight season over the tax line, meaning they’ll pay the repeater penalty if they cross it next year. For perspective, this year’s tax bill would have been$32,344,704 with the repeater rate.
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov showed up to Barclays Center for just the second time this season. He reiterated he’s not selling the team, and he said Russian economic turmoil prevented him from attending more games earlier in the season.
Asked about the luxury tax, Prokhorov talked big.
Prokhorov, via Devin Kharpertian of The Brooklyn Game:
“We need a championship team, and I’m very committed to continue to do all the best for the team,” Prokhorov said. “This is my perception. And if we need to pay a little bit more than any other teams, it’s not an obstacle.”
Whether the Nets again cross the tax line will largely depend on whether Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young opt out and how Brooklyn handles it if they do.
Facing huge financial losses, the Nets significantly reduced their payroll from last year to this year. There’s a good chance Prokhorov’s checkbook never opens again like it did last season.
But the Nets could cut back and still have the league’s highest payroll. Considering their aging roster and the valuable picks they’ve traded away, it’s an advantage they’ll need to contend.