Welcome to your Weekly NBA Fix for Saturday, June 28, with the NBA’s free agency period set to open at midnight Eastern Time on Tuesday.
Free agency begins and there will be a bevy of deals being struck during the NBA’s dead period—meaning we will be hearing about deals being agreed to that won’t become official until July 10, the end of the July moratorium, while teams and players wait for the NBA salary cap to be set.
There are exceptions to the moratorium, including teams being able to sign their first-round picks to the standard rookie scale contracts, teams being able to extend required tenders to second-round picks and restricted free agents being able to accept qualifying offers from their prior teams.
Additionally, teams can sign players to minimum salary contracts for one or two years, so long as the deal does not include any bonuses, and teams can claim players off waivers if the player was waived on June 29 or 30.
There are some quirks to the NBA free agency system, including the Bird rights loophole that allows a team to offer a qualifying veteran free agent an additional year and more money than other teams can offer. This exception allows teams to exceed the salary cap in order to retain one of their own players.
Maximum deals in free agency this year (estimated) is $15.8 million per year for players with six years or less experience, $18.96 million for players with seven to nine years in the league and $22.12 million for those who have been in the NBA 10 years or more.
However, a player’s first-year salary is the greater of two figures (105 percent of his current salary or a percentage of the salary cap equaling 25 percent for players with zero to six years, 30 percent for players with seven to nine years or 35 percent for players with 10 or more years).
For instance, LeBron James did not sign a max deal with the Miami Heat in 2010. With his experience, his maximum first-year salary figure would be $22.12 million, as opposed to the $20,020,875 figure which would be 105 percent of his 2013-14 salary).
Conversely, Carmelo Anthony can be offered a maximum of $22,458,401 in the first year based on the 105 percent rule and his 2013-14 salary of $21.49 million.
With all that said, here’s a division-by-division look at free agents (and potential free agents) heading into the start of this year’s make-it-rain season.