(CBS) Bulls center Joakim Noah was named to the all-NBA first team on Wednesday, triggering a $500,000 bonus for earning the elite honor.
While that’s a solid chunk of change, the Bulls still accomplished an important goal now that the NBA honors have all been handed out: They stayed below the luxury tax line, according to ProBasketaballTalk.com and the Chicago Tribune.
With Noah’s bonus handed out, the Bulls avoided the luxury tax by about $291,000, according to ProBasketballTalk.com’s math. Had reserve forward Taj Gibson been named to the all-NBA defensive first team, he would’ve received a $500,000 bonus as well that sent the Bulls into the luxury tax. But he only received votes, and now the Bulls retain flexibility for the future and save some money for owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
Staying below the luxury tax was made possible in large part because of the Bulls’ trade of forward Luol Deng to the Cavaliers in January.
There are two main benefits of staying beneath the luxury tax threshold, which was set at $71.7 million for the 2013-’14 season. One, teams that don’t pay the luxury tax receive payments from teams that do have to pay it. And two, there are harsh, escalating penalties for teams that repeatedly cross the into luxury tax.
In this instance, the Bulls now have more flexibility to cross the luxury tax line in future seasons, when they believe they’ll have a better chance of contending for a championship with a healthy Derrick Rose and perhaps another star.
For more details on the luxury tax, read Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ.