To spend or not to spend? That is a question Jerry Buss surely asks himself everyday. Be it splurging for a European vacation or forking over mad cash for a chance at a title contender rich guys like Buss stay that way by keeping disciplined spending habits.
With the NBA’s new luxury tax laws set to go into effect the season after next there is already cause for concern as to just how the Lakers will go about their business. Already Dr. Buss has been preaching a more sensible approach to spending. That’s a big reason why Lamar Odom was sent packing.
Of course Odom’s salary dump came at the realization that this team wasn’t a true title contender yet was being paid as if they were in the championship mix. We know how last season ended and we’re hoping next season will be much different given the Lakers mega moves.
Already the Lakers are looking at a payroll above $120-million when you factor in the luxury tax. In two years time if the Lake Show keeps its current core in tact that number will balloon to over $200-million as documented by the L.A. Times.
Now there is just no way Dr. Buss is going to give his stamp of approval to a near quarter of a billion in player salary. That’s Dodgers money.
To be honest, there is also a very real possibility that this won’t be an issue at all. Not if Kobe Bryant decides to hang them up, Pau Gasol is shipped elsewhere or if Dwight Howard decides to do another offseason diva dance.
Still, the possibility of paying more than $200-million no thanks to the new luxury tax laws is very much real. Let the Lake Show hang another banner next season and there’s no way Buss breaks up a budding dynasty. Then again, you never truly know. We’re entering a new era of professional hoops and for all we know the modern dynasty could be done. Either way the payroll situation is something is going to have to be addressed much sooner than later.