The NBA Finals have come and gone. The draft came and went. While the actual NBA season is over, the off-season is just beginning. NBA free agency is upon us, and we have put together everything you need to know about free agency season.
According to Inside Hoops, NBA free agency starts Wednesday, July 1st. Does that mean NBA teams can start signing players on July 1st? No, the NBA offers teams and players a period of time where they can meet with each other. This year, that stretches from July 1st through July 8th. During this time, free agents normally meet with potential suitors. While they can (and will) verbally agree to sign with a team, nothing can be formally agreed upon until July 9th. That is the first day teams and free agents can sign contracts and formally announce free agent signings. That said, news often breaks before July 9th about pending free agent deals, but nothing becomes official until the contract is able to be signed.
What Will This Year’s Salary Cap Amount Be?
Much has been made about the NBA salary cap ballooning due to the new NBA television contract. However, that is not projected to occur until the 2016-2017 season. Jonathan Givony of Draft Express projects the upcoming salary cap to be $67.1 million:
According to NBA.com, last season the salary cap was set at about $63 million. We are expecting to see about a $4 million increase for the upcoming season. However, as you can see from Givony’s tweet, the cap is expected to balloon up to $89 million the following season. This would be an increase of just about $22 million if the projections hold true.
That is basically giving each team the value of a max contract player based on the current system. That does not mean that every team will automatically have that amount of space as some teams are over the salary cap and paying the luxury tax. It does mean a good number of teams will have space in another year. We could begin to see salaries of role players driven up this off-season as teams expect this massive increase of cap space.
What NBA Players Are Free Agents?
According to Spotrac, this year’s free agent class includes players such as Lebron James, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, Kevin Love, DeAndre Jordan, Tim Duncan, Monta Ellis and Greg Monroe. These players are all unrestricted free agents, meaning they can sign with whatever team they would like. Players like Lebron James and Tim Duncan are expected to re-sign with their respective teams.
There are a number of notable restricted free agents this off-season as well. Being a restricted free-agent is different than being unrestricted in one key way: players do not ultimately control their own destiny. A restricted free-agent is able to sign with any team he likes, but his current team is able to decide to match the offer or decline to. The only way a restricted free agent is able to move on to a new team is if his current team declines to match the contract he is offered.
This year’s restricted free-agent class includes players like Kawhi Leonard, Tobias Harris, Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green and Matthew Dellavedova. Keep it locked to Heavy in the coming days for more NBA free agent updates including a more thorough look at the top free agents and the latest rumors on where they will end up.