Trail Mix: Taxes, trades and Wesley Matthews hits ESPN
Happy Friday everybody! Hope the short week did everybody good. As the week winds down, we scoured the internet for Blazers content, just for you!
Portland Trail Blazers free agent guard Wesley Matthews has been a busy man since the playoffs ended. He made an appearance on NBATV, got his walking boot off and has been continuing his rehab in the Los Angeles area. And yesterday, Matthews made his way through the ESPN studios in LA, doing multiple appearances.
Matthews talks about his rehab, a little bit about free-agency (no he did not tip his cap one way or another about his decision) as well as Meyers Leonard’s wedding this summer. It was a relaxed setting for Matthews, who was routinely the best interview on the Blazers the past few seasons. Matthews also made an appearance on SportsNation with Michelle Beadle and co. He didn’t make headlines with ESPN trip quite like Jared Dudley did earlier this week but broadcasting is definitely in Matthews’ future if he wants it to be.
Mike Richman of The Oregonian did some pretty important work regarding LaMarcus Aldridge’s free agent decision and specifically, how taxes factor in. The tax issue has been a talking point in any discussion about Aldridge but Richman did the work to put it in clear number figures. Richman used the salary of the 30% max deal Aldridge can get to calculate how much he would keep in Texas vs. Oregon.
Here’s the breakdown in state income tax for 2015-16 using taxformcalulator.com.
Oregon Gross Pay 20,300,000.00 Tax Deferred Retirement 0.00 Cafeteria/other pre-tax 0.00 Circumstance Exemptions 17,250.00 Taxable Income 20,282,750.00 Federal Income Tax 7,983,487.00 Oregon State Income Tax 1,217,553.09 Adjusted Federal Income Tax 7,983,299.00 Social Security 7,347.00 Medicare 294,350.00 Take Home Pay 10,797,074.91
Texas Gross Pay 20,300,000.00 Tax Deferred Retirement 0.00 Cafeteria/other pre-tax 0.00 Circumstance Exemptions 17,250.00 Taxable Income 20,282,750.00 Federal Income Tax 7,983,487.00 Texas State Income Tax 0.00 Social Security 7,347.00 Medicare 294,350.00 Take Home Pay 12,014,816.00
So if Aldridge gets the 30% max contract from the Spurs, Mavericks or even the Rockets, he will get keep more money than he would if he signed the same deal in Portland. Of course, Portland can offer more money, but the impact of that is significantly lessened by the tax hit he takes by staying in Oregon. All signs point towards the Spurs giving Kawhi Leonard a max deal, but they’ve also been known to get players to take hometown discounts.
And now, thanks to Mike we have a clear idea of what the difference in taxes actually means.
I also enjoyed reading Evans Clinchy and Willy Raedy of Blazersedge’s discussion about whether Nicolas Batum gets traded. This is something that everyone has been talking about since the season ended and even before. If Aldridge leaves and the Blazers miss out on other players that would make them a contender in the West, trading Batum makes sense, even if they wait until the season to do it.
There have been rumors about trading Batum for a first round pick in this year’s draft, which would clearly be a move towards a quick rebuild. It’s hard to see a scenario where they can get an impact player in the draft for Batum. Maybe Justise Winslow? Even that is pushing it. It’s hard to see a scenario in which they are in better shape to win right now by trading Batum for a pick in the draft.
But with only one year left on his contract, Batum, 27, is set for another big pay day. Ultimately it will come down to whether the Blazers will be willing to pay him big money again. And with the salary cap going up, they will undoubtedly have to pay him more.
Other NBA nuggets:
- Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski penned an informative column on the Bulls’ firing of Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau had a pretty good run in Chicago but the Bulls have a history of having beef with their more successful employees including some guys named Jordan, Pippen and Jackson.
- Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that the Orlando Magic are closing in on hiring Scott Skiles to be their head man. Skiles had some memorable years in his last stop with the Milwaukee Bucks before he was ultimately fired. He can coach a defense and the Magic have a lot of great talent. Let’s see if now that GM Rob Hennigan is actually trying to win whether they can stop being a perpetual disappointment for Magic fans.
- And via Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, there’s trouble in paradise with Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. According to Windhorst, Wade is planning to opt out of his contract so he can get a raise this offseason. Wade, as Windhorst notes, has taken a lot of pay cuts for the Heat since LeBron came to town. But this is probably nothing. It’s impossible to think that after 12 years Wade would leave Miami.