The NBA and National Basketball Players Association have agreed to shorten the league’s moratorium period by five days for next season, according to a memo sent from the league office to its member teams on Thursday evening.
It will now last six days, from July 1 to July 6, with free agency beginning on July 7.
Both the NBA and the union had to agree to the change, since the moratorium rules fall under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, an agreement which, as the name states, was collectively bargained. The agreement had called for the moratorium period to run from July 1-11 in 2016.
While teams can still sign their first-round draft picks and players to minimum salary contracts of up to two years in length, and make a few other specific moves that are not impacted by the salary cap, most transactions are prohibited during the moratorium period, including trades and most free-agent signings.
The change was surely inspired by DeAndre Jordan’s notorious free-agent flip-flop last summer that saw the center commit to sign with the Dallas Mavericks on July 3, only to renege on the verbal deal five days later and instead choose to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. Clippers ownership, management and players converged on Jordan at his family’s home in Houston and helped change his mind, then stayed with him for the final hours until the signing could be made official at 12:01 am on July 9, effectively blocking the Mavericks organization from re-gaining access to him.
Technically, even verbal agreements aren’t allowed during moratorium. In theory, then, Jordan didn’t renege on the Mavericks. In practice, however, such verbal agreements are commonplace as early as July 1.
The rule change for next season allows players and teams to execute agreed-to deals faster, and is designed to help reduce second-guessing scenarios such as that with Jordan.
It does, however, come at a minor potential risk. Read more…