After a lavish spending spree during the last two offseasons and a record payroll, the the Brooklyn Nets will officially pay close to $91 million in luxury tax payments alone, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
Final, official Nets luxury tax payment from last season according to sources: $90.57 million.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 9, 2014
That $90.6 million pushes the total Nets salary commitments in the 2013-14 season to a little over $193 million. Factor in Travis Outlaw’s $4 million amnesty payment, Jason Kidd’s $2.5 million salary, and Lawrence Frank’s $1 million daily reports, and you’re looking at a bill of over $200 million for those guys alone.
To put it in perspective, $90.6 million is higher than any other team’s total salary figure.
It’s also a completely expected number: the Nets total salary tipped over $100 million last season, or over $30 million above the luxury tax threshold. The NBA luxury tax system brought upon in the new collective bargaining agreement is punitive, meaning that the more a team spends, the more they’re punished for the spending.
The Nets are the first team to really stretch the limits of that spending in such an extreme way. Couple that number with the news that the Nets lost $144 million on their basketball operations side this past season, and it’s no surprise that they want to curb spending next year.