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RealGM: Nets top four in 2019 cap space

New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

A RealGM analysis of 2019 cap space indicates that Sean Marks and the Nets could have as much as $84.2 million in cap space to play with next summer, putting them in the top echelon of cap-rich NBA teams.

The 2019 free agent class is expected to be most attractive in years, with the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler possibly available.

The analysis, by Keith Smith, projects both maximum cap space, if teams waived or renounced all players/picks who are not fully guaranteed, and projected space, which includes all cap holds.

Using those definitions, the Nets could have a maximum of $84.2 million in cap room and a minimum of $51.8 million. The more realistic number is somewhere in between. (Internally, we hear, the Nets use a $50 to $70 million range.)

The $84.2 million number would be second highest in the NBA, and tops in the East. Their $51.8 million in projected room would be fourth in the league, second in the conference.

Only the Mavericks, with $90.2 million, would have more than the Nets in maximum space while the Pacers, Mavs and Clippers would top the Nets in the more realistic projections. (The Pacers would have only $2.6 million more than the Nets.)

Overall, RealGM reports that almost half the league — 14 teams — can realistically expect to have between $13.5 and $54 million in cap space. Of course, the numbers will change as the season goes on.

Smith’s projections are predicated on a $109 million salary cap. He also projects Lakers and Knick numbers on an assumption that Luol Deng and Joakim Noah will be bought out and stretched.