NBA Offseason Could Have Fewer Dollars Spent But Sizable Amount Of Player Movement

The Athletic spoke anonymously to a number of agents to get their opinions on what to expect in what will be the most unusual offseason in modern NBA history given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on league revenues.

“My fear is there will be a lot of teams and ownership groups that sit out free agency,” said one agent. “In terms of player movement, I think there will be a lot. Not just signing guys. Nobody wants to pay the tax. Everybody is going to try to clear space for 2021. I can definitely see a sizable amount of player movement. But not a lot of dollars spent.”

Another agent countered that theory because most players with options on the contract will opt-in and delay their free agency until 2021.

“I assume that every player, almost every player is going to opt-in,” said the second agent. “That’s not common. I think it’s uncommon that almost every player opts in, and I assume everyone opts in. I assume there is reduced player movement because of that. There’s only a half dozen teams with cap space. … And there are questions amongst those teams. Are they going to spend to the cap or are they not going to spend to the cap? … I think there’s going to be significantly less player movement than a normal year.”

A third agent believes centers will find very limited offers and that some teams will be more inclined to sign rookies or minimum contract veterans.

“Big effect,” said the agent. “Salary cap lower. Centers will get hit the hardest. Teams putting the most value on those who can play 1-4. As for movement, we’ll see. Teams might go with rookies or minimum contracts to keep their books low while dealing with cap uncertainty.”

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