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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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NBA Teams Embark On Trade Season, Balancing Talent And Taxes

  • The Warriors will take a big tax hit next season before finding flexibility in 2024.
  • Championship contenders are rebuilders alike are sorting through their finances.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

As it does every summer, the NBA landscape is shifting. New stars are finding new homes, and teams are searching for fresh strategies to stay in championship contention — or get one step closer to it.

The move with the biggest business implications: Chris Paul landed with the Golden State Warriors in a trade sending guard Jordan Poole to the Washington Wizards.

While adding Paul, 38, will certainly be an interesting fit for the Dubs on the court, the first big trade under new general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. looks like a cap-savvy move to maximize the team’s future spending. 

Although the Warriors are currently projected to pay $48.5 million in luxury tax next season, per Spotrac, moving Jordan Poole’s remaining $128 million over the next four years helps Golden State avoid larger tax penalties down the line and sets them up with prime financial flexibility ahead of the 2024-25 season.

Two other trades will likely keep other championship contenders in the luxury tax, too. 

After acquiring guard Bradley Beal from the Wizards, the Phoenix Suns are forecasted to pay about $16 million in tax next year. The Boston Celtics are estimated to owe $13 million after bringing on forward Kristaps Porzingis from Washington.

Meanwhile, the Wizards — at the center of all these deals — appear to be in rebuild mode under Michael Winger, who became president of Monumental Basketball this offseason.

This comes as the Qatar Investment Authority is injecting potentially $200 million of cash into Wizards owner Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

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