Adrian Wojmarowski of The Vertical reports that this summer's NBA Free Agent Moratorium will be shortened from seven days to five.
The NBA and NBPA have agreed to shorten July free agent moratorium to five days -- July 1 to July 6, league sources tell The Vertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) March 17, 2016
Free agent deals can now be signed much sooner after becoming agreed upon -- something that became a bigger issue after DeAndre Jordan saga.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) March 17, 2016
As Wojnarowski notes, the wait period--originally designed to allow teams to consider options as the league calculated the next year's salary cap--has become a circus as player power in free agency has increased. The resulting college recruiting atmosphere has generated plenty of media attention but led to embarrassment, most notably this incident in which Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan jilted the Dallas Mavericks after a verbal agreement. Quotes from that story, by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Tim MacMahon:
There's a sort of gentleman's agreement during the NBA's moratorium period to not mess with a player who has verbally committed to another team.
The NBA established this period in which no contracts can be signed or trades completed for several reasons. Free agents need time to make real decisions, so multiple teams could pitch them and agents could shop offers to other teams. The period also protects scrupulous teams who adhere to the July 1 opening of free agency and don't try to circumvent the process or their rivals. But in establishing the moratorium period, the NBA also created a house of cards that depends on an honor code but is always vulnerable to changes of heart.
"It's an imperfect system. There's no question about it," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Sunday in an interview with NBA TV. "The question is: Is there a better system? That's something the league office and in discussions with the owners will always look to do things better."
With plenty of cap space on the table, the Portland Trail Blazers are expected to factor into this year's free agency drive significantly.