Los Angeles Lakers: Why This Season Is Win or Bust for L.A.

After months of twisted stories and decision-making, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to pry Dwight Howard away from the Orlando Magic. 

First reported by ESPN, LA gave up just Andrew Bynum and managed to somewhat complete its roster by receiving Howard, point guard Chris Duhon and small forward Earl Clark. Earlier in the year, the Phoenix Suns shipped franchise player Steve Nash to LA for a bundle of draft picks. Now the Lakers have added free agents Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks in an effort to improve their bench and the overall scoring dynamics of the team. While it is far too early to predict, LA is easily a title contender and should be right behind the Oklahoma City Thunder chasing that first seed in the Western Conference.

However, this team is built to win this season. Much like the Miami Heat in the 2010-11 season, it must be a championship-or-bust mindset from the entire organization. While the Lakers now possess one of the more talented starting lineups in the league, it has not cheap. 

The league office of the NBA sets the salary cap limit for teams each season. This year it is set at $58.04 million. Not only does this ensure competitive balance to an extent, but it is the first roadblock in overspending.

Once teams exceed this limit by a certain amount they are hit with what is called the luxury tax. This is a penalty team's face when payrolls surpass the total salary amount of $70.3 million. Presently, this is a dollar-for-dollar system, meaning each dollar a team is over the luxury tax threshold is how much they are required to pay. Starting next season, a new incremental system will be put in place. It will look like this:

Amount of Tax Threshold Standard Tax Repeat Offender Tax $5 million or less $1.50 $2.50 $5 million to $10 million $1.75 $2.75 $10 million to $15 million $2.50 $3.50 $15 million to $25 million $3.25 $4.25

What this system quantif...

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