NBA sets Oct. 16 draft date, Oct. 18 for free-agent talks

The NBA has firmed up the schedule for what will be a hectic time for teams this fall, deciding on Oct. 16 as the date for this year’s draft and saying clubs can begin talking to free agents two days later.

The annual moratorium will begin at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Oct. 19 and continue through noon on Oct. 23, the league told teams on Saturday in a memo obtained by The Associated Press.

As was the case last season, teams and free agents can begin negotiating six hours before the moratorium — so 6 p.m. EDT on Oct. 18.

It could be a wildly busy few days in October for the NBA. If the schedule for the restarted season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida, goes as planned, Game 7 of the NBA Finals could be held on Oct. 13, followed by the draft three days later and then free agency almost immediately following.

By setting the draft date, the NBA also firmed up Aug. 17 as the early entry deadline and Oct. 6 as the early entry withdrawal date.

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