How much cap space will the New Orleans Pelicans have?

Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Kim Klement - Pool/Getty Images)
Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Kim Klement - Pool/Getty Images) /

The salary cap numbers have been released and it’s not good for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The New Orleans Pelicans knew they weren’t going to have much money to spend in free agency and now it has been confirmed.

The NBA released it’s salary cap numbers yesterday, along with other key dates for free agency and trades.

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It was a good news/bad news situation, as the cap was expected to go down, which it didn’t. But it didn’t go up either, which is the bad news, as it was expected to rise approximately $7 million before the NBA lost billions in revenue due to the pandemic.

It will stay nearly exactly the same as last year according to Sham Charania:

While this isn’t the worst news, it doesn’t bode well for the New Orleans Pelicans’ chances of getting a top-tier free agent.

How much cap space will the New Orleans Pelicans have after Brandon Ingram’s extension?

The big question is whether the Pelicans will have any money left to spend after they extend Brandon Ingram, which is expected.

The Pels have about $83.2 million in salaries committed to 2020-21, which includes the full contract of Darius Miller.

With the salary cap at $109.14, the Pelicans will have approximately $25.9 million in free cap space to spend.

Players who have been in the league 0-6 years will be eligible for a max deal of $27.28, which is the max salary Brandon Ingram will be looking for.

As you can see, the Pels will have to exceed the salary cap just to re-sign Ingram if he gets the full max. They can do so under the Bird Rule, but it would still leave them with no money to sign free agents who aren’t currently on the team.

This is why most people think the Pelicans must trade Jrue Holiday if they want to add depth to their roster. Re-signing Ingram and Frank Jackson isn’t going to fill the holes they have at both forward positions and center.

Trading Holiday shouldn’t be hard, as there are myriad rumors floating about interested teams, and if the Pelicans don’t take back equivalent salary, they will have some money to play with in free agency.

Trading Holiday isn’t just about the future, it’s about now, as the Pelicans simply don’t have the cap space to fill our their roster without moving some salary.

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