On Sunday afternoon the NBA free agency moratorium period opened and within only a few brief seconds the power dynamic of the NBA started to shift dramatically.
So far we have witnessed one of the most active and lucrative free agency periods ever as NBA teams agreed to shell out an estimated $3 billion dollars within the first 8 hours of free agency.
Along with the extensive amount of money changing hands, the sheer level of talent on the move is changing the power structure of the NBA. We’ve seen Finals MVPs, league MVPs, perennial All-Stars and faces of franchises find opportunity and wealth in new locations.
We’ve all seen the names but before I can even get to the players it is important to have a background on what the moratorium period is.
What exactly is a moratorium period?
For those who don’t know, the moratorium period is when NBA teams can negotiate and agree to verbal terms on contracts with free agents, but they can’t put pen to paper until the moratorium period is over.
The reason this period exists is because the NBA is finalizing the exact amount of the salary cap. The cap is finalized on July 6th. The first day that free agents can physically sign contracts.
The signings made so far should be honored, but there is always a slight chance that a deal could fall through in the coming days.
The 2015 Deandre Jordan fiasco was the last major example of a key signing rescinding a verbal agreement and signing with another team when Jordan backed out of his Mavericks agreement in order to return to the Clippers.
The verbal contract commitments and trades have us seeing a chunk of the top talent in the NBA moving to other teams and probably by the time this is posted more league changing moves will have been made.
Big moves so far…
We’ve seen the Warriors lose two Finals MVPs in Kevin Durant (Nets) and Andre Iguodala (Grizzlies), Lock up Klay Thompson with a max contract, re-sign Kevon Looney and trade for D’Angelo Russell.
The Charlotte Hornets asked All-Star guard Kemba Walker to take a significant pay-cut under the $220 million Supermax they could’ve offered him, so he decided to take his talents to Boston to claim the starting point guard spot vacated by Kyrie Irving (Nets).
Jimmy Butler is part of a four team sign-and-trade deal that sends him to the Miami Heat. J.J Redick agreed to sign with the Pelicans which frees up enough cap space so the Sixers can add Celtics big man Al Horford.
The Utah Jazz signed sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanović and tenacious defender/rebounder Ed Davis in order to solidify their roster for a potential contending run this year.
The Portland Trailblazers looked to do the same as they re-signed Rodney Hood and traded for Hassan Whiteside.
These are just a few of the moves that are morphing rosters in a summer that looks to bring parity back to the NBA….Unless Kawhi decides to team up with LeBron and Anthony Davis in LA.