The LA Lakers were one of the NBA’s biggest underdogs last season.
The team had an estimated $3.8 billion payroll, a $1.9 billion luxury tax, a huge luxury tax hike and a lockout that crippled the team.
LA had been expected to rebound this season, but it was in a state of disarray and disrepair.
The Lakers went to an unprecedented amount of trouble to avoid the luxury tax.
The team also had to sell tickets.
As of last Friday, there were over 8,000 tickets available for the Lakers home games, and the team was selling out games by the dozen.
That’s not a huge amount of seats for a team with $3 billion in payroll.
But when the team went on the road for the first time since 2009, fans showed up with little fanfare.
The LA Lakers had a $12 million surplus in 2015-16.
They didn’t even have to sell the tickets.
They could have used their money.
But instead they spent it on expensive new uniforms and pricey luxury boxes for fans.
As the LA Times reported last week, the Lakers are trying to figure out how to get its financial house in order and figure out whether or not it is a sustainable business.
The Lakers have $3 million in debt.
It’s possible that if they were to get out of the luxury taxes altogether, they could have more money to spend.
However, if they want to spend more money on players, they need to get rid of the contracts that make the team unsustainable.