Mark Cuban Wonders if the Lakers Should Amnesty Kobe Bryant

by February 22, 2013

There’s very little that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban enjoys more than messing with the Los Angeles Lakers and their fans. When discussing the Lakers’ enormous payroll, Cuban wondered aloud if the team would be better off by cutting ties with Kobe Bryant and his massive salary. That’s master trolling, friends. Per ESPN: “If you look at their payroll, even if Dwight (Howard) comes back, you’ve got to ask the question: Should they amnesty Kobe?’ Cuban said. Cut ties with Kobe Bryant to cut costs?! That sounds crazy, but the Lakers are looking at ridiculous luxury tax bills if they don’t do something drastic to reduce their payroll, which is slightly more than $100 million this season and will probably be in that same range next season if Howard re-signs. This is the last season of a dollar-for-dollar penalty for teams over the luxury tax limit ($70.307 this season). Beginning next season, the luxury tax escalates for every $5 million a team is over. If the Lakers are $30 million over, their luxury tax bill would be a whopping $142.5 million next season. If L.A. trims the payroll down to $20 million over the tax, the Lakers would still get hit with a $75 million bill. And they’d be subject to the even heavier repeater rate in 2014-15, although Steve Nash’s $9.7 million salary is the only contract currently on the Lakers’ books for that year. Bryant is on the books for a league-high $30.45 million salary next season, the last year of his contract. […] ‘So I’m just saying that hypothetically. When I say amnesty Kobe, I don’t think they’d do it, but they’ve got some choices to make. Now, they’re in a big market, but they’re still limited. The Knicks, the same thing. Boston, same thing.'”