The NBA season never stops, save for a tiny lull at the end of August. Executives, players, and media welcome the respite from the constant attack of activity around the league.
Still, there’s some qualms about how the Association’s calendar works, particularly free agency. As has been discussed in the wake of things opening up on Sunday, the idea of the NBA’s moratorium period is, from an enforcement standpoint, completely useless.
Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey appears to think this, too. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, two years ago Morey presented a plan to move free agency to after the NBA Finals and before the NBA Draft. He was rebuffed, and the league moved on.
Via The Woj Pod:
Windhorst: “Two years ago Daryl Morey and the Rockets put forth the concept of moving free agency before the draft. This guy was telling me that there wasn’t any reaction in the room, there was just silence. It sort of just didn’t get voted on. It was a pitch and that was it.”
The idea here is that if teams are able to sign big free agents first, they can better plan to add rookies to their rosters knowing what the majority of their squad is going to look like for the upcoming season. That, and the league can avoid the awkward photo ops with Adam Silver when a trade has been completed but players still have to wear the hat of the team that traded them on stage.
Adrian Wojnarowski casually chatted with Ryen Russilo earlier this week on another edition of “The Woj Pod”, mentioning how there’s an unspoken agreement between execs that once a player is no longer under contract — and a team’s season ends — then he’s essentially fair game.
It does stand to reason: if a player isn’t under contract, why can’t he talk to new teams? Just as long as it’s not mid-season tampering a la Magic Johnson, the gentleman’s agreement stands.
In any case, the point is that free agency already starts when the season ends in practice. Why not move it up?
One problem could be, as I mentioned, timing. If free agency got moved to after the Finals, everything else might get pushed further down the line. That could mean having Summer League in August instead of July, when most of us in the NBA sphere are sipping margaritas on a beach somewhere instead of paying attention to basketball. Plus, NFL nonsense starts to ramp up in the summer, and the league would like to have as much of the spotlight to themselves that they can get.
I don’t know if the league calendar will ever change significantly. It feels like the biggest issue right now is actually the amount of games played, and that seems to be something the NBA will tackle first.