The Lakers are Playing Chess, Not Checkers

Rob Pelinka’s Plans for Redemption

Credit: Sports Illustrated
Table modified to reflect 2022–23 salaries (screenshot by author)

“Teams above the luxury tax can only match salary at 125 percent plus $100,000, regardless of how much they send out (provided the team is over the tax after the trade).

For example, for a team under the luxury tax, a player with a $5 million salary can bring back up to $8.85 million. A player at $10 million can bring back up to $15 million. Taxpayers would be limited to $6.35 million and $12.6 million, respectively. And for a $20 million outgoing salary, regardless of the team’s luxury tax status, the incoming salary can reach up to $25.1 million.”



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Jordan Pagkalinawan

Top Writer in NBA & Sports. Student journalist & podcaster. Social media manager at PerThirtySix & contributor for Last Word on Hoops & YRMedia. Emerson ’26.