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NBA free agents: Teams concerned players are already signing contracts

It was just over two weeks ago that the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in the 2020 NBA Finals. With the draft set to take place on Nov. 18 and NBA free agents being on the market shortly thereafter, we’re starting to hear some grumblings around the Association.

This is a major issue given the truncated nature of the 2020 NBA offseason. As Keith Smith of Yahoo! Sports notes, this goes far beyond your basic tampering with NBA free agents.

When will NBA free agents be able to officially sign with new teams?

That’s the biggest issue teams are having right now. There’s no clear cut indication from the NBA when free agency itself is going to start. With the 2020-21 NBA season likely getting going before Christmas, impending free agents are apparently lacking patience in this regard.

Related: Top NBA players of 2020

A typical NBA offseason would include free agency starting a few weeks after the draft has concluded. The NBA can’t put either the teams or impeding free agents in that type of situation moving forward.

Top NBA free agents

Lakers' Anthony Davis during NBA Finals against Heat
Oct 2, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) celebrates with Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso (4) during the fourth quarter in game two of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We already know that Lakers star Anthony Davis will opt out of his contract and re-sign with Los Angeles on a shorter-term deal. Outside of that, the NBA free agent market is limited to second and third-tier players.

DeMar DeRozan (Spurs), Gordon Hayward (Celtics) and Andre Drummond (Cavaliers) all have player options. Meanwhile, the likes of Danilo Gallinari (Thunder), Montrezl Harrell (Clippers) and Fred VanVleet (Raptors) are the top unrestricted free agents set to hit the open market.

The NBA free agent dynamic is going to be unlike anything we’ve seen before. Teams are concerned over finances after the revenue downtick from last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Add in a watered-down free agent class and that’s magnified even further.

It will be interesting to see what happens on this front.

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