Basketball Society’s 2019 NBA Free Agency Guide

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Staying on top of NBA free agency is a tough task. Luckily enough, we’ve compiled a guide to help you conquer the offseason as best you can, featuring when free agency officially starts, the differences in free agent status’ and the best accounts to follow on Twitter for breaking and accurate news. 

Start date:

NBA free agency is slated to get underway on June 30 at 6 p.m. On that date, players will be granted the opportunity to meet with suitors, gain intel on how they may fit with a franchise also discuss the parameters of a contract.

Moratorium Period and when deals can actually be signed:

However, players are unable to actually ink a deal until 12 p.m. on July 6 thanks to the NBA’s Moratorium Period, a stretch of time mandated by the league to give both teams and players an interval to conduct meetings and to also finalize their decisions when it comes to agreeing on a deal.

You’ll find that most players verbally agree to the terms of a contract during the Moratorium Period to conclude the circus that can be the NBA offseason and pivot back to enjoying the summer and preparing for the upcoming season. However, these verbal acceptances aren’t binding.

While these occurrences are rare, a player could back out of an agreement, as we saw with the DeAndre Jordan/Dallas Mavericks/Los Angeles Clippers fiasco in 2015.

Free agent types:

Free agency
Photo via: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

There varying free agent statuses for players, and the ones listed below are the four most common.

UFA: Unrestricted free agent. Able to sign with any team in the NBA. Former team possesses no rights to that player.

RFA: Restricted free agent. Can sign an offer sheet with any team in the NBA, but former team has 48 hours to match the terms. If the player’s previous team does put forth an equal offer, they retain that player.

PO: Player option. Gives the player the power to decide to return to their current team another year, or become an unrestricted free agent. Once an option is exercised, it cannot be reversed. 

TO: Team option: Gives a player’s current team the right to keep them for another year. If a team option is not exercised, that player then becomes an unrestricted free agent. Once an option is exercised, it cannot be reversed. 

Best players available:

We cataloged the 20 best free agents of 2019, so be sure to follow this link to see the entire list. For now, here is our top-five.

  1. Kawhi Leonard (PO)
  2. Kyrie Irving (PO)
  3. Jimmy Butler (PO)
  4. Klay Thompson (UFA)
  5. Kevin Durant (UFA)

Cap situations:

Photo via: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Nearly half of the NBA’s teams are anticipating having cap space of $20M or more this summer according to Spotrac, and several notable franchises have the chance to make a sizable splash with a max contract slot. Here are the salary situations for each team in the NBA this offseason, but be sure to reference Spotrac frequently because these figures will be everchanging.

Atlanta Hawks: $12.1M

Boston Celtics: $32.2M

Brooklyn Nets: $66.9M

Charlotte Hornets: $5.8M

Chicago Bulls: $18.5M

Cleveland Cavaliers: $-36.3M

Dallas Mavericks: $46.9M

Denver Nuggets: $-12.1M

Detroit Pistons: $-14.9M

Golden State Warriors: $-17.3M

Houston Rockets: $-17.1M

Indiana Pacers: $32.5M

Los Angeles Clippers: $54M

Los Angeles Lakers: $23.1M

Memphis Grizzlies: $10.3M

Miami Heat: $-35.1M

Milwaukee Bucks: $17.2M

Minnesota Timberwolves: $-7.7M

New Orleans Pelicans: $31.1M

New York Knicks: $59.8M

Oklahoma City Thunder: $-41.8M

Orlando Magic: $17.7M

Philadelphia 76ers: $58.8M

Phoenix Suns: $20.3M

Portland Trail Blazers: $-28.2M

Sacramento Kings: $59.1M

San Antonio Spurs: $4.3M

Toronto Raptors: $-5.9M

Utah Jazz: $219K

Washington Wizards: $2.6M

Best Twitter accounts to follow for news:

Photo via: @ScoopB

There’s a lot of fake news that filter’s it’s way into the NBA Twitter world this time of year, so it’s important to be leery about who is reporting what. We’ve compiled a short list of the best and most reliable accounts to monitor for all of the NBA’s offseason happenings.

Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson: @ScoopB

Adrian Wojnarowski: @wojespn

Shams Charania: @ShamsCharania 

Marc Stein: @TheSteinLine

Chris Haynes: @ChrisBHaynes 

Ramona Shelburne: @RamonaShelburne

Tim Bontemps: @TimBontemps

Brian Windhorst: @WindhorstESPN

For a more in-depth look at the ins-and-outs of free agency, visit NBA.com’s “Free Agency Explained” page. 

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