When NBA TV asked Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports how DeAndre Jordan could leave $28 million on the table in Los Angeles to sign with Dallas, a laughing Spears blamed taxes.
“First of all the taxes are so bad in my home state of California,” Spears noted, “it ends up being about even.”
Spears first broke the news that Jordan turned down a $108 million offer from the Los Angeles Clippers to take $80 million to join Wesley Matthews, who likewise left Portland in the high-tax state of Oregon to join Dallas the day before, which encouraged Jordan to come to tax-friendly Texas, too.
Jordan, the NBA’s reigning rebound king, and LaMarcus Aldridge, an all-star four years running, figure as the two biggest free agent prizes. The Lakers brass act like their jobs depend on recovering to sign Aldridge, but reports indicate Gregg Popovich’s appeal for him to come to another team that benefits from Texas’ taxes—the San Antonio Spurs—impressed Aldridge.
Yahoo Sports reports that the Spurs or Phoenix Suns look as likely landing sports, giving him either a 0% or 4.5% state income-tax rate, rather than enduring 13.3% as a Los Angeles Laker or or continuing to pay 9.9% in Portland.
In fact, Spears laughed after his statement on the oppressive tax rates because 13.3% does not erase all the money Jordan left on the table in LA, even once you pay the 9% city sales tax. But it sure closed the gap between the offers of the Mavericks and Clippers to make it easier for Jordan to pick up and leave LA.