Updated 2024 cap space projections for Pistons and their competition

Jun 13, 2023; Detroit, MI, USA; Troy Weaver general manager of the Detroit Pistons
Jun 13, 2023; Detroit, MI, USA; Troy Weaver general manager of the Detroit Pistons / Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports

One of the only consolations from this season is that the Detroit Pistons will finish it without any bad contracts on the books.

They will have cap space to spend and roster spots to fill, but we've been here before, so Pistons fans are tempering their excitement over a team that has not signed a significant free agent in years.

There are other ways to use cap space, as the Pistons could absorb a contract without sending money back, make a trade for a high-paid player or help facilitate a multi-team deal in exchange for assets.

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But how much cap space will the Pistons have? And who will be their biggest competition in the free agent/trade market?

The Detroit Pistons' 2024 cap space projection

According to cap guru Keith Smith, the Pistons project to have around $61.3 million in cap space this summer, most in the NBA, with the 76ers, Jazz, Thunder, Magic and Spurs rounding out the top six:

Even though the Pistons have the most amount of cap space, they are the least attractive team on the list, as the 76ers have the reigning MVP, the Jazz are headed in the right direction, the Thunder are already one of the best teams in the league, the Magic are an up and coming playoff team and the Spurs have Victor Wembanyama.

There aren't many impact free agents available anyway, so the Pistons will have plenty of competition for any player they do want to sign.

That's a lot of money for Troy Weaver (or his replacement) to play around with, but given their situation, the Pistons might have to drastically overpay to get any free agent to look their way when there are other teams with money and winning environments.

In other words, the Pistons may whiff in free agency again. To make the necessary changes, Detroit will have to lean on the trade market and hope that Troy Weaver (or his replacement) can swing deals to better balance the roster in terms of skill set, age and experience.

Money talks in the NBA, but cap space has become progressively less important as the league has made it easier to retain stars, so even though the Pistons have the most money, it really doesn't mean anything unless they can find a way to use it constructively.