The NBA is expected to move up the start of its annual moratorium from midnight ET on July 1 to 6 p.m. on June 30, sources told ESPN.
While the decision isn’t finalized, the expectation is that it will be implemented for this year’s free-agency period.
The decision is long overdue, as the current system has forced players and teams to work into the early morning hours on July 1 to conduct the opening rounds of business in free agency. Moving the start up will allow people to have more of a normal schedule.
At his annual news conference at the Las Vegas Summer League in July, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said such a change was likely to happen.
“In terms of when free agency begins, I’ve not only heard from my friends in the media, but as I get older and the people I grew up [with] in the NBA get older, I think we’re all tired of all-nighters,” Silver said. “What I’ve heard from, again, several of my colleagues at teams are does this really need to be at midnight? I think that’s something that we’d need to find agreement on with the players’ association. But I think we could change for next year.
“It’s one of those things that everybody looks at each other and says, ‘Why has it always been that way?’ It’s unclear. It’s just always been at midnight. But putting aside the impact on the working media, I think there is so much interest in it. Clearly, if it were happening at a more reasonable time, it would be better for coverage.
“But again, I think also it maybe was kind of fun in the old days scheduling the meetings at midnight or something else. But I think we’re past that. I expect a change for next season.”