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Atlanta Hawks Have Paid Luxury Tax Once

Before the Atlanta Hawks sent Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets in a salary dump, his eye-popping contract was often the first thing brought up in discussions about the Hawks.

However, as Atlanta fans already know, the team's front office has vigorously held salaries in check despite such a massive outlay.

In a fascinating spreadsheet compiled by Mark Deeks of ShamSports that looks at the history of the luxury tax, the Hawks name appears only once -- as a payer in the 2002-2003 season, when they were hit with a $3.7 million bill.

That team, which featured Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Glenn Robinson and Theo Ratliff, was an unmitigated disaster, finishing the season with a 35-47 record while costing head coach Lon Kruger his job.

Ever since, the Hawks have made sure to stay on the right side of the luxury tax line, despite handing out big contracts to Johnson, Joe Smith and Al Horford.

In the NBA, as in life, you get what you pay for, and Atlanta really hasn't paid for much over the last decade.

For more coverage of the Hawks, stay tuned to Peachtree Hoops.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.