Get ready for the NBA and NHL free agency frenzy
The GIST: Turn on your Shams, Woj, and Friedge tweet notifications because NBA and NHL free agency — the wildest stretch of the offseason — open tonight at 6 p.m. ET and tomorrow at 12 p.m. ET, respectively. And there’ve already been plenty of rumors, and even some moves, in the lead up.
How it works: As discussed on yesterday’s episode of The GIST of It, free agency has become a crucial part of the sports calendar and empowers athletes to decide where they’ll play. A player is referred to as a free agent when they’re either not under contract with a specific team or are allowed to solicit offers from others.
- There are two types of free agents: restricted (RFAs) and unrestricted (UFAs). If an RFA receives an offer, their current team has the right to match it. As the name suggests, UFAs have total freedom and can sign with any team they want. Chaos.
NBA players to watch: Although he was expected to be one of the biggest names on the market, Philadelphia 76er James Harden avoided free agency yesterday, but will still seek a trade out of Philly. Meanwhile, his former superteam that wasn’t Brooklyn Nets teammate (and current Dallas Maverick) Kyrie Irving will enter free agency.
- Though he’ll likely remain a Maverick, Irving is reportedly meeting with the Phoenix Suns, the franchise his other former Nets teammate, Kevin Durant, joined when both stars fled last season. Hope they’ve spoken since then.
- Some non-former Nets to watch? Toronto Raptor Fred VanVleet, who could leave the Great White North for sunny Texas skies, and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton, who declined his player option to become a UFA, but could return to his team with a new deal.
NHL players to watch: Right wingers Patrick Kane andVladimir Tarasenko, two NY Rangers superstars who will likely be separated due to salary cap limitations.
- And then there’s Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron. The center signed a one-year contract last summer with the hopes of ending his career with another Stanley Cup. Will the 37-year-old give Beantown one last chance? Stay tuned.