Now the fireworks can start. With the advent of free agency just hours away as of this writing (Monday afternoon), and a free agent class that’s ripe with potential, even if the most coveted free agent — LeBron James, who opted out of the last year in his contract with Miami — is, probably, staying in South Beach. But James is hardly the sole goal in the outset of the real start of the NBA offseason, and teams have been loading up on cap space to fill out their rosters and try to find the moving pieces that will move them closer to contention.
Part of what makes the new discussion over cap space so interesting is the fact that this represents yet another year for teams to get acclimated to the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement, and even the front offices that have been positively plodding in adjusting their approaches. Any team that wanted to clear cap space has been able to do so, and teams have been hesitant to swap solid contributors for first round picks, a process once as regular as watching the tide ebb and flow. Now, the teams that want cap space can get it, and the only teams that seem to be stuck outside the loop are Brooklyn, who were trying to go all in on a championship, and New York, who seem doomed to Knicks any hope for themselves regardless (sorry for that awful pun.)
So, here we are, looking at the five teams that have the most financial wiggle room for this loaded NBA offseason. Perhaps this is the only place where strong contenders and absolute bottom feeders can coexist as equals. All cap information taken from Spotrac.