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NBA Free Agency

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.

2019 NBA Finals - Game Five

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. For the 2021 Season, Free Agency were allowed to enter into agreements with teams from the 2nd of August and the deals could be made official from the 6th of August at 12:01 PM ET.

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. If the team the player is on matches the offer of the other team, the player remains with the original team on a new deal. 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.

Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans was one of the top restricted free agents this season. He ended up signing with the Chicago Bulls.

What is an Unrestricted Free Agent?

Unrestricted Free Agents are generally players that are not binded to any team by a contract. This is either the result of being waived or a non-renewal of their contract. They are free to sign with any team that wants them regardless of the amount offered by their current suitors. Teams can sign UFAs all the way until the trade deadline. These players are normally NBA Veterans with more than 4-5 years of experience.

Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns re-signed, an Unrestricted Free Agent, during the 2021 NBA Free Agency period to run it back with his team that got to the finals.

Who are the top free agents in the NBA?

Although the 2021 free agency class wasn’t as crazy as the 2019 period, There were definitely a few notable names in the class.


The free agency class was highlighted by NBA Finals 2019 MVP Kawhi Leonard as well as other heavyweights of the modern NBA such as Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry, Demar Derozan. All these players signed large contracts a few days (a few hours for some cases) into the 2021 NBA free agency.

“Kyrie, with all the issues, is a no-doubt-about-it, slam-dunk move; I think LeBron wants it” - Colin Cowherd says Kyrie Irving will make LA Lakers relevant again, believes LeBron James wants to be relevant right now
“Kyrie, with all the issues, is a no-doubt-about-it, slam-dunk move; I think LeBron wants it” - Colin Cowherd says Kyrie Irving will make LA Lakers relevant again, believes LeBron James wants to be relevant right now

“Kyrie, with all the issues, is a no-doubt-about-it, slam-dunk move; I think LeBron wants it” - Colin Cowherd says Kyrie Irving will make LA Lakers relevant again, believes LeBron James wants to be relevant right now

NBA News Roundup: Golden State Warriors stars wouldn't oppose Kevin Durant reunion; Zion Williamson displays his commitment to New Orleans, and more - July 4th, 2022
NBA News Roundup: Golden State Warriors stars wouldn't oppose Kevin Durant reunion; Zion Williamson displays his commitment to New Orleans, and more - July 4th, 2022

NBA News Roundup: Golden State Warriors stars wouldn't oppose Kevin Durant reunion; Zion Williamson displays his commitment to New Orleans, and more - July 4th, 2022

"The Lakers have yet, I'm told, to be aggressive in trying to put a deal together to get Kyrie from Brooklyn” - Adrian Wojnarowski gives latest update on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s situation
"The Lakers have yet, I'm told, to be aggressive in trying to put a deal together to get Kyrie from Brooklyn” - Adrian Wojnarowski gives latest update on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s situation

"The Lakers have yet, I'm told, to be aggressive in trying to put a deal together to get Kyrie from Brooklyn” - Adrian Wojnarowski gives latest update on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s situation

NBA Free Agency Day 3 Recap: Zion Williamson and Darius Garland sign huge extensions, Phoenix and Chicago pick up role players
NBA Free Agency Day 3 Recap: Zion Williamson and Darius Garland sign huge extensions, Phoenix and Chicago pick up role players

NBA Free Agency Day 3 Recap: Zion Williamson and Darius Garland sign huge extensions, Phoenix and Chicago pick up role players

NBA free agency explained for beginners
NBA free agency explained for beginners

NBA free agency explained for beginners

NBA Rumors: Raptors unwilling to let go of Scottie Barnes in a trade for former MVP
NBA Rumors: Raptors unwilling to let go of Scottie Barnes in a trade for former MVP

NBA Rumors: Raptors unwilling to let go of Scottie Barnes in a trade for former MVP

NBA Rumors: Utah Jazz reluctant to involve 3x All-Star in any trade packages
NBA Rumors: Utah Jazz reluctant to involve 3x All-Star in any trade packages

NBA Rumors: Utah Jazz reluctant to involve 3x All-Star in any trade packages

NBA Rumors: Philadelphia, Dallas potential destinations for Brooklyn Nets' superstar guard
NBA Rumors: Philadelphia, Dallas potential destinations for Brooklyn Nets' superstar guard

NBA Rumors: Philadelphia, Dallas potential destinations for Brooklyn Nets' superstar guard

NBA Free Agency Day 2 Recap: Chicago Bulls keep Zach LaVine for $215 million, Zion Williamson nearing agreement for rookie max extension with Pelicans, and more
NBA Free Agency Day 2 Recap: Chicago Bulls keep Zach LaVine for $215 million, Zion Williamson nearing agreement for rookie max extension with Pelicans, and more

NBA Free Agency Day 2 Recap: Chicago Bulls keep Zach LaVine for $215 million, Zion Williamson nearing agreement for rookie max extension with Pelicans, and more

“I don’t buy into the idea of loyalty when it comes to business… Why is it on Kevin Durant to hold all this together?” - Joy Taylor says she doesn’t blame Kevin Durant for wanting to leave the Nets, says this was doomed from the start
“I don’t buy into the idea of loyalty when it comes to business… Why is it on Kevin Durant to hold all this together?” - Joy Taylor says she doesn’t blame Kevin Durant for wanting to leave the Nets, says this was doomed from the start

“I don’t buy into the idea of loyalty when it comes to business… Why is it on Kevin Durant to hold all this together?” - Joy Taylor says she doesn’t blame Kevin Durant for wanting to leave the Nets, says this was doomed from the start

“He knows a real leader like LeBron would have to challenge Kyrie Irving… Kevin Durant would rather challenge anonymous people on Twitter” - Frank Isola says Kevin Durant doesn’t want to be a leader and wants a drama-free team
“He knows a real leader like LeBron would have to challenge Kyrie Irving… Kevin Durant would rather challenge anonymous people on Twitter” - Frank Isola says Kevin Durant doesn’t want to be a leader and wants a drama-free team

“He knows a real leader like LeBron would have to challenge Kyrie Irving… Kevin Durant would rather challenge anonymous people on Twitter” - Frank Isola says Kevin Durant doesn’t want to be a leader and wants a drama-free team

“This s**t is robbery”, “Gearing for a JB, Smart package for KD?”, “ECF between the Bucks and Celts gonna be a war” - Fans applaud the Boston Celtics as they acquire former ROTY on a “steal”
“This s**t is robbery”, “Gearing for a JB, Smart package for KD?”, “ECF between the Bucks and Celts gonna be a war” - Fans applaud the Boston Celtics as they acquire former ROTY on a “steal”

“This s**t is robbery”, “Gearing for a JB, Smart package for KD?”, “ECF between the Bucks and Celts gonna be a war” - Fans applaud the Boston Celtics as they acquire former ROTY on a “steal”

“Is it possible that KD, Kyrie and LeBron have been talking? And that they’ve been saying, ‘Look, let’s all 3 come together’” - NBA analyst says Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving haven’t fallen out, comments on the Lakers rumors
“Is it possible that KD, Kyrie and LeBron have been talking? And that they’ve been saying, ‘Look, let’s all 3 come together’” - NBA analyst says Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving haven’t fallen out, comments on the Lakers rumors

“Is it possible that KD, Kyrie and LeBron have been talking? And that they’ve been saying, ‘Look, let’s all 3 come together’” - NBA analyst says Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving haven’t fallen out, comments on the Lakers rumors

“‘I’m not staying around here messing around with just Ben Simmons’” - Keyshawn Johnson says Brooklyn Nets stopped listening to Kevin Durant, which resulted in him requesting a trade
“‘I’m not staying around here messing around with just Ben Simmons’” - Keyshawn Johnson says Brooklyn Nets stopped listening to Kevin Durant, which resulted in him requesting a trade

“‘I’m not staying around here messing around with just Ben Simmons’” - Keyshawn Johnson says Brooklyn Nets stopped listening to Kevin Durant, which resulted in him requesting a trade

“Lakers could have signed Jesus Christ himself and some Lakers fans would be disappointed”, “Check if Rob Pelinka is awake”, “Nvm someone tell him to go back to sleep” - LA Lakers fans divided over their early off-season business
“Lakers could have signed Jesus Christ himself and some Lakers fans would be disappointed”, “Check if Rob Pelinka is awake”, “Nvm someone tell him to go back to sleep” - LA Lakers fans divided over their early off-season business

“Lakers could have signed Jesus Christ himself and some Lakers fans would be disappointed”, “Check if Rob Pelinka is awake”, “Nvm someone tell him to go back to sleep” - LA Lakers fans divided over their early off-season business

NBA Free Agency Recap: Bradley Beal to re-sign with Wizards, Knicks get Jalen Brunson and more Day 1 deals
NBA Free Agency Recap: Bradley Beal to re-sign with Wizards, Knicks get Jalen Brunson and more Day 1 deals

NBA Free Agency Recap: Bradley Beal to re-sign with Wizards, Knicks get Jalen Brunson and more Day 1 deals

“Whether this actually comes out his mouth or not, KD was tired of Kyrie’s bulls**t” - Former NBA champion says Kyrie Irving is at fault for Kevin Durant’s trade request, believes KD will take a lot of heat
“Whether this actually comes out his mouth or not, KD was tired of Kyrie’s bulls**t” - Former NBA champion says Kyrie Irving is at fault for Kevin Durant’s trade request, believes KD will take a lot of heat

“Whether this actually comes out his mouth or not, KD was tired of Kyrie’s bulls**t” - Former NBA champion says Kyrie Irving is at fault for Kevin Durant’s trade request, believes KD will take a lot of heat

“Atkinson’s a heck of a coach, and Kyrie got him out of there” - Chris "Mad Dog" Russo says the Brooklyn Nets can’t allow Kyrie Irving so much power, says the organization has to have a totem pole
“Atkinson’s a heck of a coach, and Kyrie got him out of there” - Chris "Mad Dog" Russo says the Brooklyn Nets can’t allow Kyrie Irving so much power, says the organization has to have a totem pole

“Atkinson’s a heck of a coach, and Kyrie got him out of there” - Chris "Mad Dog" Russo says the Brooklyn Nets can’t allow Kyrie Irving so much power, says the organization has to have a totem pole

“20 years from now ... nobody will remember how much money he made” - Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo says James Harden should be focused on his legacy and championships, compares Daryl Morey to Billy Beane
“20 years from now ... nobody will remember how much money he made” - Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo says James Harden should be focused on his legacy and championships, compares Daryl Morey to Billy Beane

“20 years from now ... nobody will remember how much money he made” - Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo says James Harden should be focused on his legacy and championships, compares Daryl Morey to Billy Beane

Danilo Gallinari, TJ Warren and more: 5 players the Boston Celtics can target with the mid-level exception
Danilo Gallinari, TJ Warren and more: 5 players the Boston Celtics can target with the mid-level exception

Danilo Gallinari, TJ Warren and more: 5 players the Boston Celtics can target with the mid-level exception

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