With the summer's premier free agents off the market and 2012's top trade candidate (Dwight Howard) having been moved, we've entered something of a dead zone in the NBA calendar, as players and teams wait for training camps to begin. Still, despite the relative lack of activity these days, there are a number of dates and deadlines to keep an eye out for before the NBA regular season begins. Here are a few of them, courtesy of Larry Coon's CBA FAQ:
August 31: Next Friday is the last day teams can waive players and apply the stretch provision to this season. That means if a player with one year and $3MM left on his contract is released before August 31st, the remaining $3MM will be "stretched," with the team paying $1MM for each of the next three years. If the same player is released after September 1st, the current season would be paid per the normal payment schedule. Because this provision only applies to contracts signed under the new CBA, it's unlikely we'll see it taken advantage of much this year, but it could become more important in future seasons.
September 6: Second-round picks become free agents if not given a required tender. Many of this year's second-rounders have already signed with their respective teams, or decided to play overseas. Those that remain unsigned will likely be locked up in the near future.
October 1: This is the last day for a restricted free agent to accept a qualifying offer, unless the team extends the deadline, which is rare. As our dwindling list of restricted free agents shows, it appears there are only two players left with outstanding qualifying offers — the Hawks' Ivan Johnson and Alonzo Gee of the Cavs.
October 31: Halloween is the last day teams can extend players entering the final year of rookie scale contracts, like the Thunder recently did with Serge Ibaka. It's also the last day teams can exercise 2013/14 options on rookie scale deals. For instance, at some point before this deadline, the Celtics will pick up their 2013/14 team option on Avery Bradley.