De’Aaron Fox complains about California taxes on behalf of NBA players

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox used Anthony Davis’ contract extension to express his annoyance with California taxes.

A breakdown of Davis’ new three-year, $186 million deal led Fox to note the financial differences for players on California teams.

Fox also noted how fate can determine whether a player will end up paying additional taxes, citing the case of Orlando Magic power forward Jonathan Isaac.

Fox was taken by the Kings with the fifth overall selection of the 2017 NBA Draft, and Isaac was chosen by the Magic one pick later.

Those decisions by the Kings and Magic were crucial for both players with regard to tax concerns. That’s because Florida has no state income tax, while California has a double-digit tax rate for people in Fox’s tax bracket.

Since both players entered the NBA, their careers have largely veered in different directions. Fox has developed into one of the league’s top point guards, averaging 20.2 points, 6.2 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game at the NBA level.

In contrast to that high level of production, Isaac has seen his career grow sidetracked by injuries. In six years since he was drafted, he’s only managed to play in 147 regular season games and missed two entire seasons because of an ACL injury.

One twist in Isaac’s situation is that he’s made more news for controversies surrounding him than for his play. Issues such as standing for the national anthem amid social justice protests and his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine have been front and center for the 25-year-old Isaac.

As a result of Isaac’s lack of production and inability to stay healthy, rumors surfaced in May that the Magic may be ready to move on from the one-time top prospect. However, he’s still with the team today.

Fox, on the other hand, is in the midst of a contract extension that will pay him a total of more than $100 million over the next three seasons. At age 25, Fox is in a position where he should be able to obtain some additional lucrative deals in the future.

In the end, Fox figures to finish his NBA career making a tremendous amount more than Isaac will in the years ahead. That means that despite the tax bite that the state of California takes every year, he’ll still come out making more money.

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Brad has written on a variety of both NBA and NFL topics and has worked previously as a sports information director at the collegiate level. A lifetime fan of sports, he's witnessed countless great moments in different sports and understands that stories can be compelling from both the perspective of winners and losers. As a frustrated fan of Cleveland sports, he experienced something unprecedented when the Cavaliers won the city's first championship in 52 years.