The NBA’s 2021 free agency period will begin on Monday, August 2 at 5:00pm central time, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).
Teams and players will be able to reach contract agreements at that point. However, with a few exceptions, they won’t be able to formally complete those deals until after the moratorium lifts.
As Charania details, the free agency moratorium will officially begin at 11:01pm CT on the night of August 2 and will end on Friday, August 6. The NBA has confirmed Charania’s reporting, announcing that the moratorium will lift at 11:01am ET on August 6, at which point agreed-upon trades and free agent signings can be officially finalized.
Typically, the NBA Finals would end in mid-June, followed about a week later by the draft, with free agency beginning on the evening of June 30 and the moratorium covering the first few days of July. However, the NBA’s calendar has been pushed back by about a month this offseason due to the revamped schedule. The draft will take place on July 29.
Kawhi Leonard (player option), John Collins (RFA), Lonzo Ball (RFA), Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Mike Conley, Dennis Schroder, Victor Oladipo, Spencer Dinwiddie (player option), and Jarrett Allen (RFA) are expected to be some of the top free agents available this summer.
It’s also worth noting that, with Olympic qualifying tournaments scheduled to take place from June 29 to July 4 and the Olympics themselves set to begin on July 24, several players who don’t have contracts yet for 2021/22 may have to decide whether or not they feel comfortable participating in the Tokyo games – or the qualifiers – before having secured their next deals.