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A Dummy’s Guide to Understanding the NBA Offseason

Welcome to the offseason!

The 2015 NBA Draft is on June 25. On July 1, teams will be able to talk to players and 10 days later, they can officially sign. In effect, just about all the drafting and player movement of the offseason will take place over the next month of the season.

This time of year is also the time of year where fan speculation runs rampant. The ESPN Trade Machine will have its limits tested, visions of superstars signing with all 30 teams will dance through the head of every fanbase. And every fan will be a self-identified general manager with better ideas than their own.

There’s one guiding factor that must be considered in all of this, though: the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Understanding the rules regarding offseason player movement will save you the embarrassment of suggesting an impossible trade.

This guide is here to explain the basics of the rules. In reading, you’ll notice some terms are bolded. In those cases, the term is something that’ll be further defined, so if you don’t know what it means, just keep reading.

This primer isn’t intended to catch every hole, but it should apply to most situations.

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