2. Miami Heat
The Heat have a projected payroll of about $86 million in 2013-14, which is the highest figure in the NBA. They paid a little more than $13 million in taxes this past season, and like the Nets, they will be lucky to pay anything that low next year.
While the BRI is projected to go up next season, the projected benefits will also rise. So, even if the luxury level is more favorable next season, the Heat, and other tax paying teams, will have to contend while owing a massive paycheck to the league.
Miami’s tax rates will also increase next year. If they had those same rates last year, they would have owed $24 million, nearly five million more than LeBron James’ annual salary and six million more than Dwyane Wade’s annual salary.
I put the Heat second because frankly, as the team’s general manager, you are getting what you pay for. No one wants to pay a quarter of $24 million in taxes, but at the same time, the Heat have been a constant finals fixture for three years.