The forecast calls for luxury tax pain
Teams seek the shelter of payroll beneath $149 million
BY HENRY ABBOTT
A strange thing happened on 2022’s draft day. After all the years of scouring the world for the best possible prospects—flying all kinds of players in, meeting to obsess over needs, minutes, and matchups—a truly excellent NBA team, a contender, called a short list of agents representing some of their favorite prospects and asked … if their clients would be willing to play overseas. To be stashed. To not play in the NBA, to not be under contract, to not suit up, to not have their dreams come immediately true.
While there could be other reasons, the most obvious one is the team in question just needed to cut payroll. The few million they’d have to pay a first-round pick was a problem.
While not unheard of, this is not common. Not in the first round. Not at the last minute.
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