With the NBA heading into the final stretch of the 2020-21 season, the league has announced that the start of free agency will begin in early August.
The NBA revealed that teams can begin negotiating with free agents on Monday, Aug. 2 at 3 p.m. PT and will be able to officially sign them starting on Thursday, Aug. 5 at 9:01 p.m. PT.
The restrictions of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced the league to delay a number of key dates on the calendar year. Commissioner Adam Silver has noted that the NBA is hoping for the 2021-22 season to go back to its original schedule with the season beginning in October.
This year’s free agency class will feature its fair share of star power throughout the league. Players like Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are among the notable names that are set to test the market this offseason.
The Los Angeles Lakers will also be looking to avoid some major turnover with Dennis Schroder, Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker, Markieff Morris, Andre Drummond and Montrezl Harrell among those slated for free agency. Given the timeline of when this year’s NBA Finals conclude, it could be a quick turnaround for the Purple and Gold to shift gears toward negotiations.
Schroder reportedly rejected a four-year, $84M contract extension from the Lakers earlier during the season. Although the front office is clearly looking to maximize the championship window provided by the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the speedy point guard may be looking for a max extension elsewhere in free agency.
Meanwhile, Harrell has emerged as an integral part of this rotation as a spark plug off the bench. He could also be slated for a big payday if he declines his player option after averaging 14.1 points and 6.7 rebounds up to this point.
The Lakers can re-sign a majority of their free agents if they’re willing to go over the luxury tax, which Jeanie Buss has said is a possibility.
NBA announces dates for 2021 draft, combine and lottery
Aside from free agency, the NBA is also preparing for the new league year after announcing the dates for the 2021 NBA Draft, NBA Draft Combine and NBA Draft Lottery.
The lottery is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, June 22 while the Draft is set for Thursday, July 29 at 8 p.m. ET. Both events will be televised on ESPN and ABC, but the second round of the draft will be aired only on ESPN.
The league also announced the deadlines for the early entry player application will be Sunday, May 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Any early entry player looking to withdraw their name from the draft pool will need to do so by Monday, July 19 at 5 p.m. ET.
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