The Brooklyn Nets have pushed their potential NBA luxury tax obligations to record levels this offseason by trading for expensive veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry, and signing Andrei Kirilenko, but the team made a small move on Thursday to slash the tax number a bit. The Nets waived forward D.J. White and his $1.03 million contract (which was non-guaranteed until August 1), and in the process the team shaved more than $4 million off its luxury tax bill, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.
Recent transactions approved by Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov have otherwise made a mockery of the NBA's luxury tax system. With Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Garnett, Pierce and Terry, the team payroll has climbed to the $100 million range, and under the progressive luxury tax, the Kirilenko signing pushed the tax bill to over $80 million.
Waiving White will chip a bit of money off the total price tag of the team, but Brooklyn is still on pace to obliterate what are estimated to be the two highest luxury tax bills paid by teams in NBA history -- $52 million paid by the 2002-03 Trail Blazers and $45 million paid by the New York Knicks in 2006-07.
White signed with the Celtics in March of 2013, but he never
played started a game for the team before being traded as part of the Garnett-Pierce-Terry deal. If the Nets had not waived the 26-year-old forward prior to August 1, his contract would have become fully guaranteed for the upcoming season. See, the Nets are money conscious!