The NBA is expected to move up the moratorium period, allowing free agency negotiations to begin earlier.
According to ESPN, which cited unidentified sources, the league is planning to start its annual moratorium on free-agent negotiations to June 30 at 6 p.m. ET rather than keeping the traditional start time of midnight on July 1, which is six hours earlier than it has started in the past.
While the decision hasn’t become official yet, it’s expected to be implemented for this year’s free-agency period, according to the report.
It’s a move that has been discussed by league executives in the past, and it would allow players and teams to have a more normal schedule to discuss deals instead of negotiating into the night and early morning hours.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in July at his annual news conference that he “expect(s) a change for next season.”
“In terms of when free agency begins, I’ve not only heard from my friends in the media, but as I get older and the people I grew up (with) in the NBA get older, I think we’re all tired of all-nighters,” Silver said. “What I’ve heard from, again, several of my colleagues at teams are, does this really need to be at midnight? I think that’s something that we’d need to find agreement on with the players’ association. But I think we could change for next year.
“It’s one of those things that everybody looks at each other and says, ‘Why has it always been that way?’ It’s unclear. It’s just always been at midnight. But putting aside the impact on the working media, I think there is so much interest in it. Clearly, if it were happening at a more reasonable time, it would be better for coverage.”
Even though the period for negotiating is expected to move up, a player can’t officially sign until the moratorium ends July 6.