In Luring Dwight Howard, All Dallas Can Do Is Wait, and Hope His Accountant Has His Ear

Categories: Sports

With visions of hefty deductions and lots of free shit dancing in his head ...
Hoping to make a long-awaited splash in free agency, the Mavericks met for a few hours with free agent big person Dwight Howard on Tuesday, one of his last stops on his semi-annual You Know You Want Me Tour.

If the experts are to believed, it will come down to the incumbent Lakers and two Texas teams, Houston and Dallas, who can dangle the all-important carrot that lures all title-craving star athletes: a massive tax break.

While people in Dallas and Houston are offering up all sorts of free stuff -- and while Howard, scarily, seems almost weird enough to actually be swayed by such frivolity -- his tax burden will play a big role in making either Texas team more attractive financially than other suitors, especially non-Texas teams that aren't the Lakers, like Golden State and Atlanta.

Via ESPN, accountant Robert Raiola explains:

If he claims California as his primary residence and stays with the Lakers, Howard will gross $118 million off a five-year max contract, but will net only $59.6 million, according to Robert Raiola, a certified public accountant with FMRTL in Cranford, N.J., whose clients include athletes.

That's because California has the highest state income tax in the U.S. Any person who is single -- Howard is not married -- earning more than $1 million in the state pays a top rate tax of 13.3 percent.

Howard could get only a four-year max deal by going somewhere else and would make $1.7 million less per season, but could still come out on top if he signs with the Houston Rockets or Dallas Mavericks and makes his home in Texas, a state that has no income tax.

Over a four-year period, Howard would gross $94.4 million off a contract with the Lakers and $87.6 million from a contract with an NBA team in Texas, but Raiola says the difference in the state income tax between California and Texas would result in Howard netting $2.6 million more from a Texas-based team. That's even including jock taxes, which are the taxes Howard would have to pay states when he plays on the road.

Between that, James Harden, the chance for Howard to put several states between himself and the increasingly insane Kobe Bryant, and free kolaches, Houston has to be the frontrunner. But Dallas is still in it, for better or worse.

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mavdog topcommenter

lose out on Howard (is that a collective sigh of relief I hear?) and the mavs brain trust moves quickly to sign both Calderon and Devin Harris. That takes care of the back court.

Rumor of mavs signing Andrew Bynum to a 3 year deal with protection on his ability to play starters minutes. reminds me of when they brought in Chandler, who was thought of as too fragile to make a difference.


Yo ah think it's really important fo' dis here great state o' hoops ta reach out ta broddars o' all walks o' life ta make sho dat da sport iz inclusive. da bomb way ta do it iz ta convince little kids how ta—da beauty o' playing hoops.


He's a head case.  We don't need him.

scottindallas topcommenter

State income taxes are a deduction from your federal tax burden, mitigating the effect of "tax free states."  Further, if they play in a state income tax state, that income IS taxed.  So, the effect is far less than reported.  I suppose a great first step would be if reporters filed 1040A tax forms and not 1040EZ.   If you don't itemize, what do you know about these matters?  Why do you let sophists lie to you about taxes?


So when Howard spurns Dallas as every other  free agent has over time - the team will be on par of the old Dallas Chapparels and nothing more than the Washington Generals of Harlem Globtrotter fodder. There is no plan - only the low percentage of a lottery ticket win! The Mavs will be horrid next year and there is no reason for any free agent to come to this continually rebuilding club!

mavdog topcommenter

the accountant fails to include the guaranteed 5th year the Lakers can give but no one else can. that's $22M.

to steal from bill simmons article on howard:

a basketball team exec is asked if he was pursuing howard: "no"

asked if he wanted howard on his team: "hell no"

asked if he would sign howard to a contract if he came knocking on their door: "absolutely!".

physically without peer, just not much on the top of those shoulders...

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Its the one time I wont be disappointed if he doesn't sign, something seems off with this guy.  Is he good yeah, but Id hate to have him come here then Lam Lam it up.  Though the alternative of Dirk and a bunch of spares again kills me too

mavdog topcommenter

@joe.tone @ScottsMerkin 

yes, they need a point guard, but there are a lot more point guards out there than centers like Howard....

mavdog topcommenter

@Obummer @mavdog 

yawn, just boring. about as creative a a beiber song.

mavdog topcommenter

don't agree scott. there's some good, capable FA points- devin harris (would love to have him back), jose calderon, chauncey billups (probably more of a back up at this stage), mo williams.

there's some trades too, look at the bledsoe deal. the pelicans (is that not THE WORST mascot of all time?) just sent vasquez away, he is a good up and coming point.

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