New York Knicks: Top 2019 free agent competitors by projected cap space

Nets Spencer Dinwiddie (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Nets Spencer Dinwiddie (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
Nets Spencer Dinwiddie (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

2. Brooklyn Nets ($54.64 million)

The Brooklyn Nets took a surprise ascension in the 2018-19 season. Thanks to D’Angelo Russell‘s rise and role players stepping up, they made the playoffs as the Eastern Conference’s sixth seed. It led to a 4-1 series loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, but the future is bright.

Seen as the “other” New York team, the Nets pose an underlying threat to the New York Knicks, given their collection of young talent and what they could do with up to $54.64 million in cap space in free agency.

Will they have that exact amount? Likely not. It leaves out Russell, who will hit restricted free agency. The Nets have to pay their player who became a star overnight, but potentially at the cost of their other offseason moves, unless someone takes Allen Crabbe‘s $18 million, pending he accepts his player option.

If the Nets can clear more space, they can re-sign Russell and target a top name. If not, they will have the capability to make roster-filling moves and will use two first-round picks in the draft.

Don’t rule out the team that has a better infrastructure than the Knicks right now. They may be a longshot to claim free agency’s top players, but they arguably have the most promising situation of anyone with this much cap space.