When you’re in the National Basketball Association as a player, you get a chance to get to see what other teams could pay you after your current contract expires with your team. The player can either extend their contract or choose to become a free agent, which means they are no longer held by their previous team’s contracts.
The free agency period starts on Friday, June 30th at 6 p.m. and runs from July 1st through July 6th. This short amount of time is when teams make some of the most crucial changes to their team for the upcoming season. During this time any player that is listed as a free agent is eligible to see any team that could potentially want to sign them. If the team wants to sign the player, the player first has to pass all of the team's physical exams.
Now let's talk about what some of the biggest moves have been since the opening of free agency in June. The first big trade was that The Utah Jazz picked up big man John Collin, and they had to trade a future second-round draft pick and their forward Rudy Gay. This trade moved the Utah Jazz’s team grade up to an A +. When a team grades for a future draft pick, the team can choose to take their first pick of the second round.
Depending on how good that year's draft class is they could end up with a great rookie player. In the case of the Indiana Pacers, they traded Chris Duarte for a 2028 second-round pick and a 2030 second-round pick. Teams can choose any year that they want when they are trading a player for picks. The Pacers have chosen to have the picks for 2028 and 2030; this could be because they are anticipating the draft classes to be one of the best in those years. Teams will track college players to predict what year they would want to declare for the draft, which is why they choose years that seem far away now.
The Golden State Warriors are taking a big risk because they have just acquired Chris Paul from the Washington Wizards for Jordan Pool, Ryan Rollins, a protected 2030 first-round pick, and a 2027 second-round pick. This is a risk for the Warriors because they just gave away Jordan Pool, who has proved that he plays very well in the Warriors' offense. Chris Paul on the other hand is a point guard and has no experience with playing on the same team as Stephen Curry. This trade is one that surprised fans because of the fact that the Warriors already have an MVP point guard and have won championships with him.
The Washington Wizards have made multiple trades during this time, and it seems that they are completely rebuilding their team. The Wizards acquired Tyus Jones, Danilo Gallinari, Mike Muscala, and the No. 35 overall pick. This trade also made it possible for Marcus Smart to go to the Memphis Grizzlies and for the Boston Celtics to get Kristaps Porzingis, No. 25 overall pick, and 2024 first-round pick (via Warriors).
Free agency can sometimes determine how good the teams will be in the regular season. If they do better in the regular season then it means that they would get a lower draft pick. The team traded for a draft pick; they could end the season with a great record and still have a high pick in the upcoming draft if they use their draft picks correctly. For most teams, it is a gamble when it comes to free agency because they are risking spending a lot of money or losing a draft pick by investing in a free-agency player.