After paying $9 million in luxury-tax penalties last year, the Lakers are unlikely to pay any tax for the 2014-15 season.
The Lakers have been one of the league’s heaviest taxpayers, penalized each of the last seven years for the franchise’s expensive payroll.
With the recent signings of Jordan Hill and Ed Davis, the Lakers have reached a total of $65.4 million in committed salaries for the coming year.
The Lakers are officially 10 players deep with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, Robert Sacre, Nick Young, Julius Randle, Ryan Kelly, Hill and Davis.
Additionally, the franchise has reached verbal agreements with forwards Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry on one-year, minimum deals. Though they’ll both count as $915,243 on the team’s books, they’ll actually receive $981,084. If a player has been in the NBA three or more seasons and is playing under a one-year minimum-salary contract, the league provides reimbursement for part of his salary -- any amount above the minimum salary level for a two-year veteran, in this case any amount over $915,243.
The Lakers are also likely to sign rookie Jordan Clarkson (46th overall pick), presumably at a minimum salary of $507,336.
That would put the Lakers at $67.7 million in total salary for 13 players. The franchise may bring as many as 20 to camp, but the maximum for the regular-season roster is 15.
All the Lakers have, outside of minimum contracts, is the remainder of their $1.08 million “room exception,” most of which was spent on Kelly. That amount is actually less than the minimum for players with at least six years experience in the league.
With limited means to boost salary, Lakers may not be able to near the tax line of $76.8 million this season.
Dating back to the 2002-03 season, the Lakers have paid about $122.7 in luxury-tax payments.