When does the NBA transfer market open and which players remain as free agents?
As soon as the 2022 Finals are over, the NBA will set its sights on the next season and its new projects. First, the draft, then the madness of the market.
There are only two teams left in the running in the NBA, the two finalists of the 2021-22 season. That means that 28 franchises are only thinking about the next season, and about doing their homework (either in 2023 or in the near future, depending on the objectives of each one) to try and be in that fight for the championship ring, the ultimate goal of all the teams and some executives who are in one of the busiest sections of the calendar.
June 19 would mark, at the latest, the end of the 2021-22 season with Game 7 of the Finals, should it be necessary. Four days later, on the 23rd, the 2022 draft is held, one of the highlights of teams’ planning for the next course, especially those who have received the right to choose in the first positions.
The next fundamental day in the market is June 29, the deadline for player options (unilateral option for players to extend their contract next season in exchange for an already fixed amount), team options (unilateral option but in this case of the team) and early termination options, the options to terminate a contract without letting it be fully guaranteed for future terms already established.
2022/23 season officially begins July 1
June 30 is the last day of the season according to the official NBA calendar, in its bureaucratic cycle. Starting at 6:00 p.m. ET, team negotiations can begin with free agents, players whose contract ends on the same date, last day of June. On July 1 the new season officially begins, in this case 2022-23. The moratorium period begins for agreed contracts between teams and free agents, which cannot yet be officially signed. Restricted free agents can sign offers. Once they do, the teams that had made them restricted (with June 29 also the deadline to do so) may or may not match those offers. If they do, they will hold the player. If not, this will change the air. Contracts for drafted rookies, minimum contracts and two-way contracts can also begin to be signed on July 1. Options can also be executed to materialize the third or fourth years of rookie contracts that affect the following season, 2023-24.
On July 6, the moratorium period ends; the new contracts can begin to be officially signed and the agreed transfers can also begin to be executed officially. It’s also the date that begins the two-day window for teams to decide whether or not to match those offers for their restricted free agents.
Below are the main free agents, the ones that are going to make the most noise and can alter the landscape of the competition the most, ahead of this summer market in the NBA: