Russell Westbrook’s trade to Rockets will save him over $10 million in taxes alone
Russell Westbrook’s departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder after 11 years has to hurt, but at least he can wipe away his tears with all the money that he is about to save.
In an interesting piece written on Friday, Sean Packard of Forbes.com noted that Westbrook’s trade to the Houston Rockets this week will save him over $10 million in taxes alone over the course of his current contract.
Westbrook has $171,139,920 left on his deal, an average of $42,784,980 per year. While Oklahoma has a relatively low state income tax rate at 5%, when your salary is over $42 mill a year, those taxes add up. Under his contract, he would pay a total of $2,571,623 in state and local income taxes to Oklahoma and other states and cities where he plays.
In Houston he will still pay $1,005,528 annually, as the Western Conference plays in the US’s three highest-taxed states, California (13.3%), Oregon (9.9%) and Minnesota (9.85%). So over four years, he will save over $6.4 million on state taxes on his salary alone.
Packard also adds that the former MVP makes an estimated $18 million a year in endorsements, creating an additional $900,000 a year in state tax savings by going from Oklahoma to Texas. That creates a net total of over $10 million that he will save in just the next four years alone.
Westbrook felt like he was supposed to be a Thunder lifer, but the trade to Houston seems to have been most ideal in terms of being able to save money, reunite with James Harden, gun for his first NBA title, and troll the media.