When does NBA Free Agency start?

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Denver Nuggets are going to be participating in the 2023 NBA Finals. But they didn’t become a Western Conference powerhouse overnight.

To build this juggernaut, they needed to draft the nucleus of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and Christian Braun. They needed to sign ancillary pieces like Bruce Brown and Jeff Green. And they needed to swing trades for two-way stalwarts like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aaron Gordon.

Look at that list of names closely, and you’ll notice that seven of the eight players we named off were acquired in the offseason (with the one exception being Gordon, who was acquired during the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline). That’s because, no matter how you slice it, championships are won and lost in the offseason.

That makes events like the NBA Draft and NBA Free Agency incredibly important. Readers of this website know when the NBA Draft is, but when is NBA Free Agency? When does that start?

The official start date of NBA Free Agency is July 6th. However, teams can start negotiating contracts as early as June 30th (twelve days after Game 7 of the NBA Finals is supposed to take place).

With that said, in the past, we’ve had many teams bend the rules (aka tamper) by negotiating contracts with free agents before that June 30th date. Many suspect that this is what is going on between the Houston Rockets and James Harden right now.

We will look at some potential free agent targets for our New Orleans Pelicans in future posts, but for now, let’s take a look at who on the team is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason.

According to Spotrac’s Free Agency Tracker, the only unrestricted free agent will be Josh Richardson. Jaxson Hayes is set to be a restricted free agent (the team has his Bird Rights).

Meanwhile, Willy Hernangomez, Herbert Jones, and Naji Marshall all have club options. New Orleans has Bird Rights over Hernangomez and Marshall. And they have Early Bird Rights (check out this article for an explanation of what that entails) over Jones.

Next. 3 disastrous mistakes the Pelicans must avoid making this summer. dark