A first: Mavs won't pay luxury tax

The Sports Xchange

--Since the NBA's luxury tax was first applied in the 2000-01 season, only the Mavericks have had to pay in every season and only the New York Knicks have paid more in luxury tax than Mark Cuban's Mavs. According to research by the website ShamSports.com, the Mavs have paid in excess of $150 million in luxury taxes. That's all about to change as Cuban enters the 2012-13 season with a roster set at about $61 million, well under the luxury tax, set at $70.3 million. How big of a philosophical change is this for Cuban? In seven of the nine years the tax was applied, Dallas paid more than $17 million in luxury tax.

--One thing about the Mavs' retooled roster, which features just two contributing players from the 2011 title team -- Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion -- is that it is loaded with high draft choices. Of the 15 players on the roster, only two are second-round picks and both of those -- Bernard James and Jae Crowder -- were selected in June. The other 13 are all first-rounders and seven were taken in the top nine, led by 1999's No. 1 pick, Elton Brand, and 2008's No. 3 pick, O.J. Mayo. The others: Nowitzki (No. 9, 1998), Marion (No. 9, 1999), Vince Carter (No. 5, 1998), Chris Kaman (No. 6, 2003) and Brandan Wright (No. 8, 2007).

"It will be interesting to see what happens next summer when we hear lots of talk about teams not being eligible to receive free agents in sign-and-trades due to being over the tax apron." -- Mavs owner Mark Cuban, looking ahead to next summer's free agency, when some big-market teams will be over the luxury tax apron ($70.3 million plus $4 million) and prohibited by the new collective bargaining agreement from acquiring players in a sign-and-trade, a common practice under the previous CBA.

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