Looking for a team to build from the ground up? Starting a franchise with a team with the most cap space in NBA 2K23 is the best way to go.
You can immerse yourself as the owner/general manager of the team and play around signing players with all the cap space you have.
While most teams in the NBA are over the salary cap, the list can be a bit short. However, we will have a different criteria for the inclusion of each team on the list.
We will discuss the criteria for selection before getting to the list:
For each team mentioned, we have considered whether their team has available cap space, the difficulty of clearing cap space, and expiring contracts on the team.
Teams with a lot of huge expiring contract players can be included even if they are way over the salary cap. There are also teams with a lot of valuable players, which can be easy to trade out of your team to clear cap space.
All of these teams will be listed and these teams are usually one of the best teams to manage because of your flexibility in building up your roster.
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs have 2nd biggest cap space available at $22.7 million.
They also have a few expiring contracts where they can sign a superstar to a supermax contract in the 2023-2024 season while also having space to sign other role players.
However, you will be stuck with just a few players like Keldon Johnson and Doug McDermott.
It might be a struggle to build a superteam even if you sign a superstar because the team’s assets are quite limited.
The Indiana Pacers have the biggest cap space available at $29.6 million.
They only have Buddy Hield signed past $20 million, and Myles Turner is on a one-year $18 million expiring contract.
The team has a ton of role players signed at $8 million, which can be a bit hard to manage, but the cap space will help you get another max contract player on the next free agency.
The Detroit Pistons only have $26,000 of cap space, and they already have the 3rd lowest payroll in the NBA. It just means that every other team mentioned after this will be above the salary cap.
The two highest-paid players on the Pistons are Kelly Olynyk and Marvin Bagley III. Both players are only on a $12 million per year contract.
If you are planning to sign players on the free agency, you might want to get rid of them. However, more than half of the team’s contracts are on a team option next year.
It means you can let them go if you choose to decline their options. This will already free up a lot of cap space.
If you choose to swap Olynyk and Bagley for some expiring contracts, you can free enough space to sign two max contract players. All of this is possible while also maintaining Cade Cunningham on the team.
The Memphis Grizzlies are $7 million over the cap. This is largely due to Jaren Jackson Jr.’s enormous contract and Steven Adams’s $17 million expiring contract.
Danny Green and Dillion Brooks also have expiring contracts at $10 million each. However, all these expiring contracts will only free up a bit of cap space (not enough for a superstar) because Ja Morant’s new contract will put him at $33 million per year from $12 million per year.
The best way to free up more space is to trade Jaren Jackson Jr.
However, that is a promising young talent to give away because he is only 22 years old. You can develop him throughout the seasons and then trade him as his value goes higher.
You will be left with a lot of hard decisions, but you will always have one of the best young players in Ja Morant.
The Houston Rockets have $12.5 million over the cap space. They also have a dead cap (bought-out players they still have to pay) of $40 million. This is because of John Wall’s ridiculous $40 million contract they bought out.
You will be struggling to free up cap space because Eric Gordon’s $20 million contract isn’t easily tradable. In the real NBA, his leadership and experience can play a role in a contending team, but in NBA 2K23, it does not translate into “value” on a trade.
If you choose to wait for a year, you can free up a lot of cap space to sign a max contract player as long as you don’t resign anyone.
You can build around your young rookie in Jalen Green and get another superstar in the free agency. If ever you offload some big contracts, you can rebuild the whole team in 2nd season.
The Charlotte Hornets are $15.7 million over the cap. Even if they are over the cap, you will still have cap space next year because of Kelly Oubre Jr’s and Mason Plumlee’s contracts.
The biggest problem lies with Gordon Hayward’s enormous two-year $30 million per year contract and Terry Rozier’s four-year $21 million contract (increases almost 7.5% per year too).
If you can offload these contracts and avoid resigning players, you can sign a lot of players, including a max contract superstar.
LaMelo Ball, a promising star, will remain on the team with his rookie contract, so you will always have one big asset.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are $60.7 million over the cap, and they have one of the biggest payrolls in the league.
The sole reason the Lakers are on the list is because of their expiring contracts. Every single player on the team is on an expiring contract except for Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Russell Westbrook’s $47 million contract will expire, and you will have some space to sign a few players after the first year.
Anthony Davis and LeBron James are both generational talents, and all you have to do is try to surround them with talent in the 2nd season.
You don’t have LeBron James to influence your decisions, and you can do something Rob Pelinka couldn’t do – rebuild the championship team.
All jokes aside, the Los Angeles Lakers probably have the most unique position on the list because you already have the core players to build around.