Although the NBA season will continue until a champion is crowned in mid-June, the offseason came early for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Because we’re looking at another hectic, possibly franchise-altering summer, I’ve put together a list of key dates that fall between now and the 2018-19 campaign.
While I’d much rather be writing about actual basketball, there are many questions about the next few months and what happens when. For future reference, this can be accessed any time by visiting the “Team” tab in the main menu.
15: NBA Draft Lottery
16-20: NBA Draft Combine
30: Last day for collegiate players to withdraw from the Draft
21: NBA Draft (OKC owns picks 53 & 57 in the second round)
24: Last day for restricted free agents to exercise player options
25: NBA Awards Show
29: Last day for decisions on team, player, and early termination contract options
30: Last day to make qualifying offers to restricted free agents
There’s nothing happening for OKC on the restricted free agent front, so June 29 is the date to watch here. Paul George will likely opt-out of his existing contract and become an unrestricted free agent. If Carmelo Anthony, who’s due for a $27.9 million payday next season, is going to terminate his deal, it would have to happen no later than this date.
1: Free agency moratorium begins / Free agents can make verbal agreements / Restricted free agents can sign offer sheets / Rookie, minimum, and two-way contracts may be signed / Stretch provision can be applied
6: Free agency moratorium ends / Teams can officially sign players, extend players, and complete trades
6-17: Summer League
13: Last day to withdraw qualifying offers to restricted free agents
The free agency moratorium runs from July 1-6, so this will be the most chaotic period of the Paul George sweepstakes. The Thunder’s other unrestricted free agents include Jerami Grant, Josh Huestis, Raymond Felton, Corey Brewer, and Nick Collison — who is expected to retire.
31: Last day that teams can waive players and apply the stretch provision
If Melo is still with the Thunder and the organization wishes to stretch his contract, that would have to take place by August 31. The provision would basically allow the Thunder to pay the remaining balance of his contract ($27.9 million) over the course of the next three seasons — making Melo an unrestricted free agent.
29: Russell Westbrook’s one-year No-Trade Clause is lifted
TBD: Training camp opens on a date yet to be announced
I can’t imagine the Westbrook no-trade clause being lifted will matter much — but throwing it out there just in case.
7: Preseason opener vs Atlanta at the BOK Center in Tulsa
TBD: Regular season opener late in the month
It’s possible that some items are missing here — I’ll update if that’s the case. However, these are some of the more important dates to circle on your calendar while waiting for regular season basketball to return in late-October.