Having enough cap space is great only if there are top-tier free agents up for grabs to try and make a run at them. Unless teams are likely to just overpay for good role players that can’t live up to expectations.
Either way, if you’re a big market team and also have a lot of cap space, you’re likely to make a huge splash in free agency, and judging by some of the names that are bound to become free agents in July, it looks like NBA fans are in for a treat.
Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins, and Kyrie Irving are just a handful of the guys that could join a different team next season, but who could actually pursue them? Let’s take a look at the top 6 teams with the most projected cap space for the summer.
5. Indiana Pacers - 48.8 Million Dollars
The Indiana Pacers have built quite a nice young core, but they’re likely to look like a much different team next year, as they have as much as 7 players that will become unrestricted free agents at the end of the season.
The Pacers may lure some good role players to try and round their promising squad around Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner, so don’t expect them to try and make huge signings.
4. Atlanta Hawks - 53.4 Million Dollars
The Atlanta Hawks are going through a rebuilding process and have already landed a couple of young studs in John Collins and Trae Young. They’re likely to have another top-5 pick next season, but they’re not expected to compete right away.
Even so, they could sign veterans that may be good trade assets later on to stack more and more picks, as the Hawks are not the kind of big market that could lure superstars, even if they have the money.
3. Brooklyn Nets - 54.6 Million Dollars
Watch out for the Brooklyn Nets. They’ve been better than everybody expected, are finally in control of their first round picks, and have a bunch load of money to try and make a run at guys of the likes of Butler or Irving.
Even so, we strongly believe that they need to pay D’Angelo Russell big time based on the way he’s led them this season, and they’d still have enough money to pair him with a much more capable supporting cast next season.
2. Sacramento Kings - 58.7 Million Dollars
If you have told me the Sacramento Kings were going to have De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley, Willie Cauley-Stein and almost 60 million dollars in cap space this season for trading DeMarcus Cousins away, I also would’ve moved him without hesitation.
The Kings are in a great position right now. They have great prospects, they have the money, and they’re already showing signs of improvement. Add a couple two-way players and they may finally make the playoffs again.
2. Los Angeles Clippers - 61.7 Million Dollars
Doc Rivers and the Clippers have a great season so far, and no one expected they will have 28-24 record. But, that is just beginning because according to many reports, they are one of the favorites to land Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard.
Tobias Harris has a player option and he will probably ask for a lucrative contract, while Los Angeles Clippers want to sign big names this summer. They have enough space to sign two superstars, but they are not the only one that want to land the best players in the NBA.
1. New York Knicks - 74.5 Million Dollars
Ok, Knicks, please don’t screw this up. Please don’t. I refuse to believe these guys traded the best prospect they’ve had in ages unless they had some kind of certainty and commitment from at least one superstar *cough, cough, Kevin Durant*.
The Knicks have enough cap space to offer 2 max contracts and everybody wants to live in New York. The city’s sports culture is one of the best in the country, and the chance to thrive in Madison Square Garden is something young hoopers dream of. Even so, they always seem to find a way to shoot themselves in the foot.