Nets rival Yankees for highest N.Y. payroll

July, 26, 2013
Who will pay more for their roster next season: the Brooklyn Nets or the New York Yankees?

Brooklyn’s addition of Alan Anderson means its 2013-14 payroll is around $102 million for 15 players, and its projected luxury-tax bill is around $87 million.

[+] EnlargeBilly King, Mikhail Prokhorov
Debby Wong/USA TODAY SportsBrooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has invested millions toward his five-year goal to win a title.
That, of course, equals $189 million, the same amount Yankees brass has mandated that its payroll be at for 2014 in order to take advantage of the latest CBA luxury tax rule.

Of note: The Nets’ official payroll and luxury tax figures won’t be known until the season is over, since things can change between now and June. Last season, they paid $12,883,647 million in luxury taxes, the third-highest figure in the league. But this season, tax penalties have changed from a $1 for every $1 over the tax level system to a progressive system.

Nets billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov has spent like late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in the past two offseasons -- with a seemingly endless wallet -- determined to see his five-year championship plan come to fruition.

According to, the Yankees are spending $203.4 million on their roster this season, which ranks second behind the Los Angeles Dodgers ($220.4 million).

New York has been hit with the luxury tax for the past 10 seasons -- 2013 will be their 11th -- amassing a total bill of $224.2 million over that span.

But meeting their club-imposed $189 million mandate is going to be very difficult for the Yankees, in large part because Robinson Cano is likely due for a massive $200 million to $300 million payday at season’s end.

The Knicks had an NBA-record $126 million payroll and $37.2 million luxury tax bill in 2005-06.

The Blazers paid a then league-record $51.9 million in luxury taxes in 2002-03.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer



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