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NBA salary cap explosion benefits Miami Heat in free agency

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Players with large endorsement deals and salaries naturally flock to the Miami Heat's Florida home where athletes keep more of what they work for.

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The Miami Heat will benefit from the coming salary cap explosion due to Florida being one of only seven states without a state income tax. This advantage is especially true for NBA stars who have substantial endorsement incomes, because they have to pay state income taxes on their contracts inside and outside the court in most states.

California residents pay up to 13%, New York residents 12%, Oklahoma 5%, and Ohio 5% in state income tax on their total earnings. Even when their playing days are over, they'll be giving these states part of their paycheck for the privilege of residing there.

The state tax becomes a significant chunk of change when max players contracts may leap from $100+ million to $200+ million after all the television money comes into play over the next few seasons. The basketball free agents will be looking long and hard when they sign long-term deals, as the numbers for elite players stand to become massive over the span of the contracts.

The actual contracts for the handful of max players isn't as simple as only taxes. This article on a hypothetical situation for Kevin Durant points out he would earn slightly more staying put in Oklahoma City (see comment), because of CBA rules. The article does not mention the state taxes he pays on his $300 million Nike contract. When Durant said he hasn't made any choices yet, he's been totally honest about how complicated the process is before signing on the dotted line.

Most people see Miami as a great place to enjoy the weather, both in summer and then the winter basketball season.

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The climate lends itself as a haven for athletes to work out and enjoy life all year long. The Heat have Bill Foran on the Stack list as one of the top 8 strength and conditioning coaches in the NBA, "Bill Foran is the O.G. [original gangsta] of basketball strength and conditioning, having been with the Miami Heat since their inception in 1988...Foran's training methods have evolved as the game has changed, and he now focuses his efforts with the Heat on total body balance strength training."

Come July 6th the expensive free agents won't visit Florida to think only of balmy winters. Their agents, accountants and lawyers will be there to advise them on the real costs of a commitment to long-term contracts, since the numbers go way beyond those of a few years ago. Especially prime opportunities for the Heat lie with players who have significant endorsement contracts, which would be taxed by many states for years to come.

Other ingredients in the mix include the prospect of having a Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside on their team to possibly reach the NBA Finals playing in the Eastern Conference. All things considered, the Florida lifestyle, both financially and physically, looms as attractive options as the massive contracts become reality.