Knicks, Spurs, Mavs and Teams with Most Cap Space Entering 2021 NBA Free Agency

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 30, 2021

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 6:  A general view of the New York Knicks logo before a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 6, 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The New York Knicks have the most cap space in the NBA heading into free agency, with the San Antonio Spurs not too far behind, according to Keith Smith of Spotrac:

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA

Updated 2021 cap space projections post-2021 NBA Draft:<br><br>1. NYK - $53.5M<br>2. SAS - $48.9M<br>3. DAL - $34.3M<br>4. OKC - $30.9M (after Favors trade)<br>5. TOR - $23.1M<br>6. MIA - $20.5M<br>7. DET - $17.5M (after Plumlee trade)<br>8. CHA - $8.8M<br><br>Everyone else = projects to be over the cap<a href="https://twitter.com/spotrac?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@spotrac</a>

Smith also noted the New Orleans Pelicans could have as much as $36.6 million in cap space if they "wipe the books clean," but they are currently over the cap with decisions to be made regarding restricted free agents like Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart.

The Knicks will have a lot of flexibility with Julius Randle the only player under contract set to make more than $10 million next season, per Spotrac. His $19.8 million deal is only partially guaranteed, although he will likely stay with the team after his breakout 2020-21 season.

New York could use the space to add an impact player, with Marc Berman of the New York Post reporting the team is interested in pending free agent Chris Paul.

The team could also maintain flexibility for the 2022 offseason, when Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine could hit the open market, as Ian Begley of SNY reported.

The Dallas Mavericks will also be a team to watch this offseason as they try to build around Luka Doncic. Kristaps Porzingis has by far the highest salary on the team in 2021-22 at $31.7 million, but there is enough room to add another difference-maker to a roster that could be dangerous next season.

Dallas earned the fifth seed in the Western Conference last season but suffered a first-round loss to the Los Angeles Clippers for the second year in a row. Getting Doncic some help could make the Mavericks a legitimate contender.

The Miami Heat, meanwhile, can find help on the open market or try to re-sign their own free agents, who include Victor Oladipo, Goran Dragic, Duncan Robinson (restricted) and Kendrick Nunn (restricted).