Sports | June 27, 2019 9:41 am

What to Know About NBA Free Agency

Teams and players can begin negotiating contracts on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET

Kevin Durant being defended by Kawhi Leonard. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty)
Kevin Durant being defended by Kawhi Leonard. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty)
Getty Images

With big names like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kemba Walker set to hit the market as free agents, it is shaping up to be an interesting summer in the NBA.

But when does the fun start?

This year, teams and players can begin negotiating contracts on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET but deals cannot officially be signed until noon on July 6. In the past, the start of free agency was midnight on July 1 but the league decided to move the start time up six hours. 

If the player who signs an offer sheet is a restricted free agent, their previous team has the right to match the deal and retain them. However, if the player is an unrestricted free agent, the deal is locked in once both sides agree to terms and sign papers. 

The amount of money teams can offer depends on a player’s amount of time in the league and their free-agent status but, generally, a player’s current team can offer more to keep them than a new one can offer to pry ’em away.

The salary cap, which is extremely complicated in the NBA, factors into all of this and gives some teams more money to spend than others. For example, the New York Knicks have the space to sign two max-contract free agents this summer, while teams like the Washington Wizards and San Antonio Spurs do not have the same amount of space thanks to previous deals. 

In addition to Durant, Leonard and Walker, other big-name free agents who will officially hit the market Sunday evening include Kyrie Irving, D’Angelo Russell, Malcolm Brogdon, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Nikola Vucevic and Khris Middleton.

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