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Luxury Tax Was ‘Big Part’ Of Milwaukee’s Offseason Calculus

The Milwaukee Bucks project to have a luxury tax bill of $52.3 million for the 21-22 season after re-signing Bobby Portis to a two-year, $9 million deal, but they let PJ Tucker walk on a two-year, $15 million contract with the Miami Heat.

“Look, (the luxury tax) is a big part,” said Marc Lasry in an interview with The Athletic. “I’m not going to tell you it’s not. I mean, it’s just – if you sign somebody for $5 million, you’re not signing him for $5 (million), you’re signing him for $25 (million), $20 million. You sort of look at that, and you’re trying to figure out, ‘Alright, look, if we’re going to do that, OK, there is a cost to it. Yeah, we want him, but that’s going to cost us $25 (million) or that’ll cost us $35 (million).’ I mean, whatever the numbers are. And I think we’re very focused on that. Look, we’re a small-market team. It’s expensive. I mean, for us, this year we’re going to lose quite a bit of money.”

Lasry was asked to be specific on how much money the Bucks will actually lose.

“Um, well think of it this way, we (will) break even before the tax (laughs). … So the tax is real money. (The tax is) what we’re going to lose. You’ll make it up. You’ll make some of it up as you move along in the playoffs, obviously, and that factors in. You’re like, ‘Well look, I know I’m going to lose ‘X (amount of money),’ but if we get to the playoffs, it starts going down.’ But yeah, it’s real money for us. But at the end of the day, the goal is that you want to keep winning a championship, so you’re going to spend the money.”

The Bucks were bought by Lasry and Wesley Edens in 2014 for $550 million and they’re now worth close to $2 billion and have a two-time MVP candidate signed through at least the 24-25 season.

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