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Nets Ready to Pay Luxury Tax For First Time Since Ratner Bought In

Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets

Mark Deeks of ShamSports, who regularly gets the best data on NBA salaries, has taken a long and comprehensive look at the history of the luxury tax - who's paid it and who hasn't; who's paid the most and what is the trend line. The analysis is relevant now because the Nets will be paying about $12 million in taxes this season, after not paying a dime since Bruce Ratner bought the team.

Deeks points out that the Nets paid taxes $5.7 million in 2003, their last visit to the NBA Finals, and $9.7 million in 2003-04, just before Ratner bought the team and began dismantling it. Since then, as losses mounted and the team prepared for Brooklyn, the Nets appeared to have a dictate from ownership: No luxury taxes. (There was a double benefit for non-tax payers: A team that didn't pay taxes would get as much as $3 million from those that did.)

What's the record of those who paid out the most: of the top five taxpayers since the tax was initiated in 2002-03. Of the five biggest cumulative taxpayers, three have won championships: the Lakers, Celtics and Mavericks. But the biggest taxpayer remains the Knicks who despite paying out nearly $200 million, have won one playoff game the last decade.