If you thought the most condensed draft and free agency period in NBA history was going to be wild, hold on to your hats, because that’s not even when the madness is really going to begin. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the league is officially opening up for transactions Monday, Nov. 16, meaning that teams that have been itching to make trades and free agents that have been waiting to opt out can finally do so after months of waiting. can finally do so after months of waiting.
Trade season begins Monday afternoon, sources tell ESPN. Teams were informed the NBA’s moratorium will end at noon ET and deals can begin to be consummated.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 15, 2020
Per league sources: The vast majority of player/team option deadlines are 3:00 PM ET on Thursday, November 19.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) November 15, 2020
For full context, let’s take a look at where that leaves the Lakers’ calendar, as of right now.
- Oct. 11 — The Lakers win the 2020 NBA championship after the longest season in league history
- Nov. 16 — The NBA re-opens for business under the modified Collective Bargaining Agreement
- Nov. 18 — The 2020 NBA Draft
- Nov. 19 — Team and players have to make decisions on options
- Nov. 20 — Free agency opens
- Nov. 22 — Teams can officially sign free agents
- Dec. 1 — Training camps begin
- Dec. 22 — The NBA season starts
Basically, just over a month after the Lakers won the championship, they will have one week to conduct a flurry of trades, free agency business and draft moves to assemble a roster for their title defense, a defense that will begin just over two months after their last journey ended.
There is truly no rest for the best.
But while general manager Rob Pelinka and the rest of the Lakers front office will likely have a few moves up their sleeve that we can’t necessarily predict, other teams have had months on end to just sit around, watch the draft, and talk about trades. We’ve already seen some of those rumors still to trickle out — Chris Paul to the Suns? Jrue Holiday to the Hawks? — as teams try to get other suitors for their players to up their bids before the window officially opens, but those probably won’t be the only moves we hear about over the next several days. Get ready for a flurry of wild, complicated trades as teams that have had way too long to think about all this act like trade machine-addicted bloggers on bath salts. Expect just as much news about which players are opting in and which ones are opting out, with plenty of speculation and analysis about what it all means.
All of that chaos will create opportunities for the Lakers, either to make a big move, sign players they didn’t expect to be available, or to potentially attach themselves to a multi-team trade and pick up an asset for their troubles. Trust that Pelinka and the rest of this team’s executive suite are monitoring all of it, and whether they hop into the fray or not, get ready for pure, unadulterated chaos in the days and weeks to come as the Lakers careen towards their title defense at warp speed.