The NBA is set to collect more money this season from taxpaying teams than any time before. As of now, there are 10 teams over the luxury tax threshold but three of them – Boston, Portland, and Toronto – are barely above it and can easily get below it before the season ends. The remaining seven teams – Brooklyn, Golden State, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Utah – are well over the luxury tax and are currently combining for $544 million in payments.
While this figure could decline as we get closer to the trade deadline, this season’s distribution dwarfs the next highest in NBA history and it’s not close. According to capologist Albert Nahmad, the founder of HeatHoops.com who monitors the league’s luxury tax payments each season, the previous highest luxury tax season was its first in 2002-03 with $173.3 million.
If these seven teams don’t reduce their payroll significantly, the 23 teams under the luxury tax will receive $11.9 million each from the luxury tax distribution.