L.A. Times: The Lakers don’t have the NBA’s best record this season, but they lead the league in something else — highest payroll.
For better or worse, because sometimes it’s a curse, the Lakers have a player payroll of $91.3 million and will spend an additional $21.4 million in luxury taxes if their roster remains the same on the final day of the regular season.
Their total salary bill would be $112.7 million if they make no trades or minor free-agent acquisitions. Comparatively, they spent about $86 million last season, including luxury taxes.
None of this includes Phil Jackson’s $12-million salary to coach this season.
Basically, owner Jerry Buss keeps reaching for his checkbook.
“As long as we keep winning, I think he’ll keep doing it,” center Andrew Bynum said.
The Lakers are typically among the top five NBA payrolls, but New York and Dallas have been the big spenders in recent seasons, joined also by Boston, Utah and San Antonio.
The Knicks, however, have been on a salary-shedding spree in anticipation of next summer’s free-agency pool, and the Mavericks now have the second-largest payroll, about $4 million below the Lakers’.