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No luxury tax?

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by rhadamanthus, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

    Nov 20, 2002
    Likes Received:

    Michael Jordan had dinner Monday night with the U.S. Ryder Cup team. But it's a different kind of rider that's been the focus of much of his attention these days. Jordan sponsors Montez Stewart, a Chicago buddy who competes in the American Motorcyclist Association. Stewart's team even adopted Carolina blue, naturally, as the color scheme for its bikes and leathers. "I am hooked," Jordan said in a recent TV interview with SPEED Channel. "Next year, I am looking to expand the team, looking to compete. I want to win."

    Jordan has become something of a motorcycle buff in his retirement. He recently attended a motorcycle racing school in Michigan, and admits that he loves to "pop wheelies." No word on whether he's read Phil Jackson's favorite book: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

    Jordan hasn't completely walked away from the game in which he made his name. Taking a break from his new hobby recently, Jordan took some time this summer to lace 'em up for a couple of weeks at Hoops the Gym, the Chicago facility where he staged his Camp Comeback a few years ago. The usual retinue of NBA stars was present to play with His Airness, including Michael Finley, Juwan Howard, Antoine Walker, Paul Pierce, Ben Gordon and Eddy Curry. Nobody's talking about another NBA comeback (at least not yet), but one observer said MJ looked pretty good for a 41-year-old. While Bulls fans might (or might not) be disappointed to learn Jordan, who still hopes to own an NBA team one day, isn't planning to don his No. 23 jersey again, the news at Hoops was encouraging. Curry reportedly has worked himself into decent shape after a slow start, while rookie Gordon has dazzled with his quickness. Jordan reportedly has taken such a liking to Gordon that he had the 21-year-old former UConn star over to his house for dinner.

    Blazers, Nets talk swap for Kidd

    The Blazers and Nets have discussed a trade that would send Jason Kidd to Portland in exchange for disgruntled forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Blazers GM John Nash told SI.com Wednesday he had no comment on the reports, but team president Steve Patterson has acknowledged that the teams have talked. Apparently Portland wants to make sure Kidd, 31, is healthy after having surgery on his left knee during the offseason. Even if Kidd were ready to play, the Blazers would have to seriously think twice about this one. As talented as he is, Kidd still has five years and $90 million left on his contract. He could become an albatross on the salary cap down the road, especially if he slows down due to age or knee issues. The Blazers also already have point guards Damon Stoudamire, Nick Van Exel and rookie Sebastian Telfair. The Nets, on the other hand, might be willing to make the deal to save money. After having lost Kenyon Martin, they no longer appear to be a title-contender anyway.They could get out from under Kidd's contract, while adding a much-needed power forward in Abdur-Rahim, whose contract ($14.6 million) comes off the books at the end of the season.

    No luxury tax in '05?

    Maybe those teams that were throwing money at second-tier free agents this past summer weren't so crazy after all. Dan Rosenbaum, an economics professor at UNC-Greensboro who studies the NBA's salary cap, says the possibility of a luxury tax in 2004-05 is becoming more and more remote. The reason he says the tax might not kick in is because of a $74 million boost in Basketball Related Income due to a $37 million lump-sum local media payment made to the Lakers. For teams that held the line on player moves this summer out of luxury tax fears, the news could prove embarrassing. The Nets, for example, might not have been so quick to let Martin bolt to Denver had they known they weren't going to have to pay a dollar-for-dollar tax on his front-loaded contract. Then again, the confused ownership situation in New Jersey probably would have made K-Mart's departure inevitable.

    Boozer on the rebound

    Taking the first step in an effort to refurbish his image, Jazz forward Carlos Boozer has signed with respected agent Henry Thomas. Boozer was widely vilified this summer for allegedly reneging on a verbal agreement with the Cavs and instead signing a $68 million free agent contract with Utah. Boozer's former agent, Rob Pelinka, resigned as a result of the deal and returned his reported $2 million-plus commission. Thomas boasts among his clients solid-citizen types such as Finley, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade (a friend of Boozer's). He said he doesn't believe Boozer's image has been irreparably harmed by his controversial departure from Cleveland. "He's already done some positive things that are going to help put him in a positive light again," Thomas says. "He wants to be involved in the community in Salt Lake City."

    Other news and notes

    Karl Malone's agent, Dwight Manley, said Tuesday that his client hadn't decided yet on whether to play for the Lakers, Spurs, T'wolves, Heat or somebody else next season. Manley did confirm that the Mailman recently enrolled his kids in school in Newport Coast, Calif. ... Former NBA star Kermit Washington recently returned from Kenya, where he was bringing badly-needed supplies to a medical clinic in the slums of Nairobi. The NBA players association donated $40,000 worth of medicine to the cause, and the NBA has agreed to kick in another $10,000 worth of supplies for a future visit. ... Washington also reports that Ousmane Cisse, the former preps-to-pros bust with whom he worked this summer, has been invited to Raptors camp. ... In this month's issue of SLAM Magazine, Pacers forward Ron Artest says he should have been MVP. "We had the best record and I was the best player on the team. I felt that I should have at least been talked about for it." Can't wait to hear what Jermaine O'Neal thinks about that. ... Former Nets star Jayson Williams, who retired in 1997 because of a leg injury, has been working out at New York's Basketball City complex with NBA players Elton Brand, Amal McCaskill and Smush Parker. Word is that the 36-year-old Williams is getting in shape for a possible barnstorming tour -- not a return to the NBA, as some have speculated. But Williams' $86 million contract with the Nets (currently being paid by insurance) is due to expire in 2005, so it's not unthinkable he might seek an NBA paycheck down the road. Assuming, of course, he beats the rap on the one remaining count he faces in his manslaughter retrial.
  2. emjohn

    emjohn Contributing Member

    Jul 29, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Rosenbaum writes incredibly good economic/cap analysis. Check his website. The article referenced came out a few months ago.

    My hope for a lux tax tweak in the new CBA: all teams, even those that went over the threshold, recieve the lux tax distributions. Teams like the Knicks still lose big (pay $50 million in tax for their $105 million payroll, discounted by the $15 million payouts), teams that stayed under still get a massive bonus (Spurs, Pistons, etc don't pay tax but still receive the $15 mill), but most importantly: teams that are right at the threshold don't have to go stingy with signing FAs.

    Too often there is a team just barely under the threshold, that wants to sign a FA, but won't because it would put them over. Now, it typically amounts to no more than 2 million in tax. Not a big deal, right? Well, the problem is, that team then also forfeits recieving the $15 million in payouts. Would you have resigned Posey last year if it essentially meant $20 million?


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