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Lakers paying almost $130 million for 12th-place team

January 20, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Lakers power forward Pau Gasol has his shot challenged by Raptors center Amir Johnson and forward Landy Fields in the second half.
Lakers power forward Pau Gasol has his shot challenged by Raptors center… (Nathan Denette / Associated…)

As detailed by HOOPSWORLD.com, the Lakers currently have $99,893,231 in payroll this season.

With a record of 17-22 (12th place in the Western Conference), the Lakers will pay $29,586,231 in luxury taxes. All told, the Lakers' $129,479,462 payroll is easily the highest in the league.

No other team is at $100 million. The Miami Heat is just under the $97-million mark (including tax), but they're coming off an NBA championship.

The Lakers pay three players (Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol) a total of $66.4 million, more than 15 teams pay for their entire rosters.

Next season, the Lakers have "just" $68.1 million in payroll, but if the team re-signs Howard at $20.5 million, that number jumps quickly to $88.6 million. That's based on six players under contract; the payroll would still need to climb with the salary of at least seven more players.

Complicating matters, the league institutes a "graduated tax" next season. A $100-million payroll would trigger in the neighborhood of $73 million in taxes for a total of $173 million.

The Lakers are at nearly $130 million and they're not a playoff team. Are they going to be appreciably better next year at $173 million?

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

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