In the NBA, a free agent refers to a player who is not contracted to any particular franchise and is free to sign for any team that he may have entered into an agreement with.
NBA free agency thus becomes an important source of recruitment for teams that have adequate cap space and do not want to give up any assets in order to acquire a player. NBA free agency also helps marquee players get adequately paid for their services.
NBA Free Agency Date
In the NBA, any particular season follows a July to June yearly cycle, i.e., a new season begins on 1st July and ends on 30th June of the following year. NBA free agency begins officially every year with the start of the new official season. Up until the 2018-19 season, NBA free agency would begin every year on 1 July 12:00 AM ET. However, for the 2019-20 season, free agents were allowed to enter into agreements with teams from 30 June 6:00 PM ET itself.
How does NBA free agency work?
When it comes to NBA free agency, free agents can either be restricted or unrestricted. For unrestricted free agents, they can enter into a contract with any team of their choice. For restricted free agents though, a concerned player can enter into an agreement with any team that he wants. However, the said player's previous team can retain him by matching the terms of the aforementioned agreement.
What is a restricted free agent?
Restricted free agents are generally players that have certain restrictions with regards to how they can sign contracts with other teams or maintain employment status with their current team. These are generally players with lesser league experience of up to 4-5 years with expiring or expired rookie contracts heading into NBA free agency.
Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks was one of the top restricted free agents this season. He ended up signing with the Indiana Pacers.
What are the top free agents in the NBA?
NBA free agency 2019 witnessed the most explosive free agent class in the history of the NBA. Almost half of the players of the entire league were up for grabs as free agents.
The free agency class was highlighed by NBA Finals 2019 MVP Kawhi Leonard as well as other heavyweights of the modern NBA such as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, Tobias Harris, Kemba Walker, and D'Angelo Russell. All these players signed max contracts a few days (a hew hours for some cases) into the 2019 NBA free agency.