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Lakers most profitable NBA franchise, despite miserable season

Lakers most profitable NBA franchise, despite miserable season
Kobe Bryant played in just six games last season for the Lakers because of Achilles and knee injuries. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Lakers are coming off their worst season since moving to Los Angeles, winning only 27 games while All-Star guard Kobe Bryant sat out all but six with multiple injuries.

Despite a miserable campaign, the Lakers were the most profitable franchise in the NBA -- by a large margin.

According to a memo distributed to teams by the NBA, the Lakers project to earn a $158.3-million profit for the 2013-14 season, before tax and revenue sharing.

The Chicago Bulls, second on the list, earned less than half that amount, at $75.7 million. The Clippers were seventh at $30.4 million. The Brooklyn Nets were the least profitable with a loss of $51.5 million,  before tax/revenue sharing.

The Lakers will also pay $8.7 million in luxury taxes and contribute $49.6 million into NBA's revenue sharing, reducing their profits to $100.1 million -- which is still $38.5 million ahead of the Bulls' net of $61.6 million.

The Nets will pay a $90.1-million tax bill, along with $2.7 million in revenue sharing, resulting in a massive $144.3-million loss.

The New York Knicks will pay $34.8 million in taxes and $26.7 million in revenue sharing, dropping their $58.1-million profit to $3.4 million in losses.

The Clippers, first-time taxpayers, gave up $1.4 million in taxes and $7.2 million in revenue sharing, netting $21.7 million.

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The Memphis Grizzlies will receive a league-high $23.1 million in revenue sharing, followed by the Charlotte Hornets (formerly the Bobcats) at $22 million.

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Twenty-one teams project to finish with a positive cash flow, up from 17 before taxes and revenue sharing.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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