When does 2023 NBA Free Agency start? What fans need to know

Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images
Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images /

The NBA Playoffs are the pinnacle of the NBA season, the mountain that every team is striving to climb and ultimately end up on top. The Cleveland Cavaliers made it onto the mountain this season but joined the many teams that have since fallen off. Only one team can hoist the trophy, and all other teams have to turn their gaze from the peak and instead focus on the steps ahead of them.

Once they are eliminated fans want to hope for a better future or angrily lay carnage to the team that failed them. Some enjoy the analytical nature of the transaction game, weighing all of the factors as they try to figure out the way for a team to improve. Free agency allows for all of these things and more, and is one of the primary ways that a team changes its stripes and attempts to start its mountain climb anew the following season.

As the majority of the league waits for the playoffs to finish, the NBA Draft and free agency creep ever closer. What are the key dates to know as fans look forward to peddling their hope, their anger, and their ideas? When can teams begin their transformations in earnest?

When does 2023 NBA Free Agency start?

NBA Free Agency will officially kick off on July 1st, 2023, which is also the first day of the new league year. Contracts for players, coaches and executives officially expire on June 30th and the new salary cap, contract amounts and trade limits roll over into the 2023-24 season. The NBA usually allows new contracts to officially be negotiated and announced the evening before, so expect a flurry of moves to be reported on around 6:00 pm on June 30th if the league stays true to form.

New this offseason will be updated free agent rules from the brand new Collective Bargaining Agreement. One of those updates is that NBA teams can begin negotiating with their own free agents starting on the day after the NBA Finals are finished. That’s not a major change, as teams were certainly doing that before, and usually had the cover of “discussing an extension” for it to be on the up-and-up, but now it’s officially allowed.

The other wrinkle in regard to timing is the moratorium. The salary cap is officially tied to the exact revenue of the league, and that can’t officially be calculated until the league year officially ends on June 30th. The first six days of free agency are therefore declared a “moratorium” where teams can speak with free agents and new contracts can be announced, but nothing is officially signed until July 6th. At that point pen goes to paper and contracts become official, meaning a player can change their mind during that interim time, something players like DeAndre Jordan have famously done over the years. July 6th is also when restricted free agents can sign offer sheets with other teams.

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For those of you that are Cleveland Cavaliers fans, this summer will be an important one in utilizing free agency to improve the team. The Cavs can officially talk to players like Caris LeVert and Danny Green immediately after the NBA Finals, but they can’t go 3-and-D hunting until July 1st. Start preparing those spreadsheets because this summer could be a wild one.