When Does 2022 NBA Free Agency Start? Key Dates, Who's Available, Most Cap Space

When Does 2022 NBA Free Agency Start? Key Dates, Who's Available, Most Cap Space

With the 2022 NBA Draft in the rear-view, the league's power brokers will quickly shift their focus to free agency, which arrives just two weeks after the conclusion of the NBA Finals. Along with the draft, free agency acts as a major catalyst in player movement across the league. While it's not an overwhelmingly strong free agent class, big names from around the NBA will find themselves donning new uniforms next season.

As the NBA's free agency window quickly approaches, here are a few key questions and answers to help prepare you for the madness:

NBA Free Agency Tracker: Analysis on every signing and trade

What day does NBA free agency begin?

The NBA's free agency period officially opens on Thursday, June 30 at 6:00 PM ET. At that time, teams and players can begin negotiating contracts and agreeing in principle to new deals, but those signings won't become officially official until after the league's moratorium period – which typically lasts around one week – is up. 

2022 NBA Free Agency Predictions

Which teams have the ability to make the biggest moves?

As of now, only a handful of teams are projected to have significant cap space this offseason, which could limit the potential landing spots for top free agents. The Magic, Pistons, Pacers, Spurs and Trail Blazers are among the teams that will likely have the most room to maneuver. Teams like the Knicks, who are believed to be heavily interested in Dallas' Jalen Brunson, and Thunder could also make moves to clear up cap room.

Check out all of the 2022 upcoming NBA free agents

How much cap space do the Lakers and Nets have?

Per Spotrac, both the Lakers are Nets project to be well over the salary cap and will thus be luxury tax teams with very limited offseason flexibility. However, that could change if players like Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and/or Kyrie Irving are ultimately moved.

Who are the biggest names who could sign with new teams?

Overall, it's shaping up to be a relatively underwhelming free agency class, though that could change if some big names opt out of their contracts to hit unrestricted free agency. At present, Zach LaVine is the biggest name on the unrestricted free agent market, though the Bulls are reportedly planning to offer him a full, five-year max contract.

A handful of big names enter the summer holding player options, so they could become unrestricted free agents should they opt out. Those players include Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal and James Harden. Meanwhile, Deandre Ayton, Miles Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Collin Sexton and Anfernee Simons headline the restricted free agent class. Given their restricted status, their teams will have the right to match any offer sheet the player may receive on the open market.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Nick was awarded the FSWA Best Podcast -- All Sports award in 2017 and 2018. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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