Click here to Skip to main content

Free Agency Explained

Posted Jun 22 2012 11:19AM

Free Agent Tracker key

Free agency for the 2012-13 season begins at 12:01 a.m. ET on July 1, 2012.

UFA Unrestricted free agent
RFA Restricted free agent

* Player option
** Team option
*** Early termination option

Free agency terminology

Unrestricted free agent
An unrestricted free agent is free to sign with any team, though some unrestricted free agents have options on their existing contracts that, if exercised, may impact their choices.

• A team option grants the original team the right to keep a player for another year.

•A player option grants the player the power to decide whether to stay for another year or become a completely unrestricted free agent.

(In either case, if the option is refused, the player is completely unrestricted, free to sign with any team.)

• An early termination option gives the player the right to end a signed contract. The option cannot be exercised before the end of the fourth year of an existing contract. If the player declines to exercise the option, he remains with the original team. If the option is exercised, he is free to sign with any team.

Restricted free agent
A restricted free agent can sign an offer sheet with any team, but the player's original team can retain him by matching the terms of that offer. The original team is said to have the "right of first refusal."

>> Return to Free Agent Tracker

photoInside Access: Lakers - Warriors
History was made in Oakland as the Golden State Warriors set an NBA record with a 16-0 start. Here's an all-access look as the defending champs continued their amazing run.
photoDaily Fantasy Minute - Nov. 25
Got your pre-Turkey Day lineup ready to go? Here are a few tips that will hopefully have you giving thanks.
photoPaul George Pours in 40
Highlights from Paul George as he pours in 40 points in the Pacers win over the Wizards.
photoCurry's Behind The Back Crossover
Stephen Curry Leaves Jordan Clarkson Stumbling with the nasty behind the back crossover.
photoParker celebrates families at Thanksgiving
Jabari Parker brings in the holiday spirit by helping families celebrates at Thanksgiving.

Copyright © NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights and Terms of Use. | Ad Choices Ad Choices is part of Turner Sports Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.