The Detroit Pistons lost $63.2 million last season, ESPN reports. Ouch.
ESPN released an in-depth report on the financial disparity between the haves and the have nots in the NBA. Even after revenue sharing, the Pistons still were left with a $45.1 million loss. That compares to a $115.4 million profit for the Los Angeles Lakers, who were even worse than the Pistons last season.
The Pistons were one of ten other teams that were left with a loss even after revenue sharing was distributed. The others include the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies, Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets, San Antonio Spurs, and Washington Wizards.
With a move to Little Caesar’s Arena in store for the coming season hopefully that will boost the team’s attendance, which was 25th in the league last season. However the Pistons have been in the bottom five in the league in attendance since 2012, so it’ll likely take improved play combined with the improved location to get financials back to the black.
Last summer saw a spending spree with the new television deal dramatically raising the salary cap, and the Pistons were participants in handing out pricey deals. Most notably, paying Boban Marjanovich to be the third center.
But Tom Gores hasn’t publicly forced Stan Van Gundy or Jeff Bower to reign in their spending, saying that he was willing to go into the luxury tax to keep free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. But it’s certainly reasonable if a closer look at the team’s books might have factored into the decision for a firm line in the contract negotiations.
They’ll still enter next season with the 12th highest payroll at $117 million.