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(AP)
One aspect of the new collective bargaining agreement signed to end last year's lockout may help dismantle the Celtics biggest obstacle to winning another championship.

A recent story from Yahoo! points out that the Miami Heat may be the first victim of the "repeater tax" unless they decide to get rid of one of their "big three."

Starting in 2014, If a team has gone over the luxury tax four out of five years, its tax bill skyrockets. The repeater tax was created by the league to keep teams from repeatedly going over the luxury tax, to stop owners from signing bad contracts and attempt to kill super teams, like the Heat, by not allowing them to sign three players to max or near-max deals.

According to the Yahoo! article, unless the Heat get rid of one of their superstars or massively restructure their contracts to be much more team friendly, they could face a tax bill of over $40 million for just one year. Keep in mind how the Heat already have to construct their team: The big three and as many minimum contracts as humanly possible.

Another wrinkle in the Miami dilemma is the opt-out clause. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can all opt out and become free agents in 2014.

There are plenty of scenarios to speculate about. James could leave, Wade could be forced to find a new team as he gets older and less productive and Bosh could be replaced to keep the two faces of the franchise in South Beach.

The most likely seems James, again, taking his talents elsewhere. He's shown he cares about winning. Not so much about where that winning happens. The guy just isn't loyal.

The James to L.A. rumors have already started and it's not hard to imagine James playing some of the best years of his career with one of the best players, in Dwight Howard, and one of the most storied franchises.

Of course, this tax clause doesn't go into effect for two more years. By the time this lands at Pat Riley's feet, Miami could realistically have won three straight championships.

The end of the Yahoo! article talks about how this clause could backfire with more players leaving teams instead of staying put as GMs and owners deal with the tax fallout. That may be the case the first few years of the repeater tax, but eventually, teams will get sick of paying so much, will start signing smaller contracts and the league should even out.

Or teams could empty their piggy banks for the chance at a three-year dynasty. Not a bad tradeoff.

Eric Blaisdell 12/11/2012 10:18:00 PM Edit
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