The NBA is expected to tweak the start date and time of its annual July moratorium, sources tell Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com (Twitter link). According to Bontemps, rather than starting at 12:00 am eastern time on July 1, the moratorium will likely begin six hours earlier, on June 30 at 6:00 pm.
The beginning of the July moratorium also represents the start of the NBA’s new league year. Teams can officially begin talks with free agents at that point, so moving up the start time would allow those discussions to get underway at a reasonable hour rather than in the middle of the night, Bontemps notes.
As we detail in our glossary entry on the subject, teams can’t officially sign players or complete trades during the July moratorium, though there are handful of transactions that can still be completed during that window.
Agreements on trades and free agent deals can, of course, be reached during the July moratorium, which is why most top free agents are unofficially off the board by the time the moratorium comes to an end several days later.
We’ll wait for official word from the NBA, but there’s no indication that changing the start time of the July moratorium would impact its end date. Under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, the moratorium ends and transactions can be finalized at noon eastern time on July 6.