The NBA finally got around to granting the Knicks payroll relief of retired guard Cuttino Mobley's $9.5M salary this season. It's something Donnie Walsh has been waiting for since mid-season, when Mobley's one-year retirement anniversary passed (Dec. 11).
The Knicks then waived Mobley, which cleared a roster spot, but the more important result was that Mobley's salary came off the payroll to reduce the team's total this season to $76M, which drops the Knicks to eighth among NBA teams. The Knicks' tax hit dropped almost $10 million to about $5 million, which is a far cry from the 2006-07 season, when the Knicks paid out a whopping $45 million in luxury tax.
That was a good year to be a team that qualified for a tax rebate.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, who obtained a league memo about the Mobley waiver, the rebate checks that go out to needy teams this season will reduce from $4 million to $3.7 million as a result of this move.