Which NBA teams have the most cap space in the 2022 free agency?
We are a day away from the start of NBA free agency. While some important players have signed player options, there are plenty of players still available.
NBA teams needing to get back to relevancy in the playoff picture will be looking to beef up their roster over the next few days. There are some blockbuster names that could make huge impacts to whichever team signs them over the course of the next two weeks.
Teams at bottom of standings have most cap space
It’s not surprising that some of the worst teams in the league last season are on the list of teams with the most cap space coming into this free agent market. Especially in this new age world of superstars joining forces to create super teams, the little guys in small markets get left behind.
The salary cap is expected to be $122 million in the upcoming season, with the luxury tax line of $149 million.
This is a list of teams from the Eastern and Western Conference which have space to make a splash in the market.
Detroit Pistons projected cap space: $46 million
The boys from the Motor City a loaded up, and primed to make a move in the free agent market. They have a handful of young, talented players and just added to that youthful roster with Jalen Ivy in the draft. Trading away Jerami Grant to Portland loosened up $20.9 million which has put the Pistons in the driving seat going into the free agent market. They finished a game above the Magic for worst record in the East and will need to make some moves to turn things around in Auburn Hills.
San Antonio Spurs projected cap space: $31 million
It’s been a long time since there was anyone with star power in San Antonio, if you don’t count Gregg Popovich. That has it’s disadvantages of course, like the Spurs failing to make the the playoffs for the last three seasons. But it also has it’s advantages, like the $31 million in expected cap space
There is talk in San Antonio that the Spurs are ready to trade away their best player, Dejounte Murray, this offseason which would certainly put them behind the eight ball going into next season. The Spurs have a choice to make, either make moves this offseason or continue their rebuilding process and hope for a game changer to save the day next offseason.
Orlando Magic projected cap space: $27 million
It’s no surprise the Magic have deep pockets coming into the offseason. The Magic, like the Pistons have a team stacked with young guys, which frees up cap space to splash in the free agent market.
The youngsters that blanket the Magic’s roster is a product of some terrible seasons over the last decade. They have made it to the postseason just twice in that time and never reached the second round of the playoffs.
The Magic had the first pick in this year’s draft and took Paolo Banchero at number one overall, and while he is a fantastic player it’s doubtful he will have that immediate impact that Orlando’s last #1 pick had in Dwight Howard.
The question, as so often is the case in Orlando, is how serious are the Magic about being contenders this year? If they want to flirt with the playoffs, they will have to shell out some dough in the upcoming market.
Indiana Pacers projected cap space: $21 million
What is the Pacers next step after trading away the only thing keeping the franchises head above water in the middle of last season? Domantas Sabonis was sent to Sacremento and now there are reports that Malcolm Brogdan is on his way out of Indiana despite signing an extension last year.
The Pacers looked like a lost team at the end of the last year, but with tradable players and some cap space to wiggle with, the Pacers have a chance to be big winners in this offseason.
New York Knicks projected cap space: $18 million
The Knickerbockers opened up some cap space during last week’s draft by making three different trades throughout the night. They have a couple different options with the money that was freed up with those trades, but their hearts are set on Dallas Mavericks stand out Jalen Brunson who is in line for a big pay day during this year’s free agent period.
There is still some cap space to free up if they want to make the Brunson move, but it is admittedly a big gamble as the Mavs are capable of matching the Knicks offer, and they have a team behind them that has been deep into the playoffs, while the Knicks haven’t been relevant in the East basically since the turn of the millennium.