What is Free Agency and when does it start? NBA free agency has begun as the 2022 offseason gets underway on Thursday. This time of year is made especially exciting by the rumors and conjecture surrounding NBA free agency. Fans try to imagine stars on their favorite teams and the best players in the league are courted by any team with cap space. Even though some of the greatest personalities we’ve seen in the past may not be available when this Free Agency starts, chaos will still ensue.
The Free Agency Moratorium
From July 1–6, teams are not allowed to sign or trade for the majority of free agents during the Free Agency Moratorium. On June 30, teams may begin contract negotiations with free agents at 6 p.m. ET. However, those athletes cannot formally sign until July 6 at 12:01 p.m. ET.
Deals made during the moratorium are referred to as agreements, but they are not enforceable against the player or the organization and do not count toward team salaries. Either party has the option to withdraw in this circumstance, as was the case in 2015 when DeAndre Jordan chose to resign with the LA Clippers rather than the Dallas Mavericks after breaking his verbal agreement with them.
During the moratorium, the following signings may occur:
- When Free Agency Starts, Teams agree to regular rookie-scale contracts with their first-round draught picks.
- Second-round draught picks who sign a necessary tender, a one-year contract offer that teams must provide in order to retain the player’s rights.
- Restricted free agents may accept offers that meet certain criteria from their current team.
- A restricted free agent who is in the final year of his rookie-scale contract may accept the highest qualifying offer made to him.
- When a restricted free agent signs an offer sheet with a new team, his original team has two days to match it.
- Minimum-wage contracts for one or two seasons can be signed by players (but the deals have no bonuses of any kind).
- Teams have the option of signing players to Two-Way contracts, converting certain Standard NBA Contracts into Two-Way Contracts, or leaving a Two-Way contract in place.
- Players can be waived by teams or claimed by teams who have waived players.
Any other signings must wait until the moratorium period has ended.