2024 NBA free agency guide: Key dates, terms and top free agents this season

2024 NBA free agency guide: Key dates, terms and top free agents this season


The Boston Celtics were crowned the 2023-24 NBA champions following a victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. As Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and the rest of the Celtics continue to celebrate Boston’s NBA-leading 18th title, some basketball fans are already looking to next season.

The 2024-25 NBA season officially kicks off with the 2024 NBA draft, where the next class of stars are set to join the league during a two-day affair, starting June 26. Teams not only have the ability to upgrade their team through the draft, but they also have the opportunity to fill missing pieces through free agency.

Here’s what to know about 2024 NBA free agency:

2024 TOP NBA FREE AGENTS: Some of biggest stars could be packing bags this offseason

When is 2024 NBA free agency?

NBA free agency begins on Sunday, June 30 at 6 p.m. ET, when teams can officially start negotiating with free agents. Teams are allowed to start signing free agents on Saturday, July 6 at 12:01 p.m. ET.

Some free agents, however, may be off the board by then. The NBA implemented a rule that allows teams to start negotiating with their own free agents the day after the conclusion of the NBA Finals. Since the 2024 Finals wrapped up with Boston’s Game 5 win over Dallas on Monday, teams can start negotiating with “upcoming free agents who finished the just-completed season on its roster” on Tuesday, June 18.

NBA free agency explained

Before we get to the top free agents, here’s some key terms to get acquainted with:

  • An unrestricted free agent can sign with any team.
  • A restricted free agent can sign an offer sheet from another team but the team he was with the previous season can match the offer and retain him. The NBA says the original team has the “right of first refusal.”
  • A player with a player option on the next season can opt out his contract and become a free agent, or he can play out the final season of the contract he is under.
  • A player whose contract includes a team option on the final year of the deal means the team has the choice to keep him or let him become a free agent.

Who are the top NBA free agents for 2024?

Some of the biggest stars in the NBA could end up on another team next season. Tyrese Maxey, LeBron James and Paul George headline the list of 2024 NBA free agents. Here’s the top 20:

Contributing: Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY

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