According to ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard, the Los Angeles Lakers turned down a potential trade that would have brought former number two overall pick Michael Beasley to L.A. in exchange for a first-round draft pick.
The reasoning behind the decision for Los Angeles is the team’s desire to try and work out their salary cap issues. The team reportedly doesn’t want to bring Beasley’s salary onto its books, and ultimately have to pay more luxury taxes.
With one of the league’s highest payrolls at roughly $88 million — well above the luxury tax threshold of $70 million — the Lakers are due to pay $18 million in taxes this season. Since there is a dollar-for-dollar penalty for tax-paying teams, taking on Beasley’s $6.2 million contract would add another $6.2 million to their tax bill and cost the Lakers an extra $12.4 million.
In a business sense the reasoning behind the declined trade does seem sound. The Lakers are already bogged down with back-loaded contracts (Metta World Peace, Luke Walton, Kobe Bryant) and aren’t going to be free of said contracts for the next few years.
While the team may have turned down the Beasley offer it certainly doesn’t mean they’re going to turn down all other potential offers as well.
This is just another instance where the new CBA has made an impact on the Lakers. In the past the team had little problem adding to their salary cap and biting the luxury tax penalties. However, under the new CBA guidelines that make cost teams more for exceeding the cap, even a team in as big of a market as Los Angeles has to be careful with their spending.