Being one of the NBA teams with cap space in 2023 might not be the most exciting thing right now, as there aren’t that many available stars in free agency, and it’s highly unlikely that some of the big names in the league will be traded, except for, maybe Damian Lillard.
NBA teams with cap space 2023
Even so, if we take a look at the NBA teams with cap space in 2023, we find that they’re mostly young teams with no bonafide stars. Some of them can make the most of their youth movement and keep adding a couple of pieces to make the playoffs right away, while others might need some more time.
Whatever the case, regardless of team needs, these guys will likely be tied with multiple players throughout the course of the offseason, as they have more than enough cash to spare. With that in mind, let’s take a look at all the teams with cap space and what they could pursue in the offseason.
7. Oklahoma City Thunder – $16.60M
We start our list of 2023 NBA cap space teams, with the team most likely to make the playoffs next season. The Oklahoma City Thunder knocked on the door of the postseason with a historically-great campaign from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and health was the only thing standing in the way for them.
They’ll now get Chet Holmgren on the floor, and he’ll be in the mix for NBA Rookie of the Year. They have a young team full of athletes and have developed a strong culture despite their youth. They only need to add some veteran shooters around their talented guards, and they’ll be all set.
6. Utah Jazz – $25.06M
Last year, the Utah Jazz had like eight or nine offseason trade candidates, as they were expected to tank and for Victor Wembanyama. Notably, Danny Ainge and Will Hardy wanted nothing to do with that, and they fought hard for the first third of the season until injuries started to pile up.
The Jazz have put together a promising roster and even added John Collins to an already impressive frontcourt featuring Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler. They might look to move on from Collin Sexton and bring in more veterans, so don’t be shocked if they’re in the mix for a star guard in free agency.
5. Orlando Magic – $22.80M
The Orlando Magic finally look complete. Getting Anthony Black might well be the missing piece they were craving after adding Paolo Banchero, and those jumbo lineups of positionless basketball are going to be a treat to watch for years to come, assuming they know how to develop them.
This team has everything they need already; they just need time to grow. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be shocking to see them use that free cap space to either absorb bad deals and get more draft picks or sign some fringe rotation veteran players to help with culture-building.
4. Detroit Pistons – $27.81M
The Detroit Pistons signed Monty Williams to a very lucrative long-term deal, so you know they’re looking to turn their culture around. With that in mind, we fully expect their bench to be full of older players on veteran minimum to try and work as mentors for their youngins.
Cade Cunningham is a unique player, and having him back on the floor will be key to their aspirations. They already have a solid frontcourt, and it’ll be interesting to see how they manage to stagger Jaden Ivey and Ausar Thompson‘s minutes.
3. San Antonio Spurs – $37.47M
The San Antonio Spurs might not be after the best free agents available, but they do have the most exciting prospect in the history of professional basketball. Now, it’ll all be about surrounding Victor Wembanyama with the characters he needs to develop and learn the ropes of the NBA game.
Don’t be surprised if the Spurs look to trade for Evan Fournier to serve as his mentor, even if that means absorbing a terrible contract. Likewise, they could look to sign some shooters to make the most of Wemby’s passing skills, or a backup big man who can endure a beating against more physical teams.
2. Indiana Pacers – $31.12M
The Indiana Pacers were one of the most surprising teams in the league last season. Most people thought they’d be near the bottom of the standings, but Tyrese Haliburton proved to be ready to lead a team on his own. Unfortunately, injuries derailed that promising season.
But it doesn’t seem like this team is that far off from actual contention. With that in mind, we should keep an eye on them and the moves they make, as they have a veteran coach in Rick Carlisle and some promising young players to build around.
1. Houston Rockets – $59.78M
And last but not least, we find the Houston Rockets. According to the salary cap rules in 2023, they’ll have to spend a lot of money in the offseason, but it doesn’t seem like that’s going to be a problem for them, as of all the NBA cap space teams from this list, they’re the ones reportedly more desperate to get back to playoff contention.
The Rockets have been tied with multiple All-Stars or borderline All-Stars, such as James Harden, Kyle Kuzma, and Fred VanVleet. Hiring Ime Udoka means they’re not looking to be bad for a long time, and even though bringing in a star could hurt their star’s development, they refuse to tank.