The term "free agency" refers to the state where a professional sports player can freely seek out employment and contracts with other professional teams. Free agency usually occurs where a player's contract has expired or the player can opt out of his contract. When a player can participate in free agency, he is called a "free agent." The rules of free agency are different for each sports league and determined by that league's collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
There are two types of free agents in the NBA, unrestricted free agent and restricted free agent.
The maximum amount a free agent can sign for depends on how many years he has played in the NBA. For instance, players who have 0 to 6 years experience can sign a contract up to 25% of the cap. On the other hand, a player with 10 or more years experience can sign up to 35% of the cap. Players who sign with a new team can only sign for a maximum of 6 years while those who sign with their old team can sign for a max of 7 years. You should consult with a sports lawyer or agent to learn more.
Currently, a team can use about $5.4 million to resign one of its players or a free agent from another team. This is called the midlevel exception because even if a team is over the salary cap. A team can also use the $5.4 million to sign more than one player.
Experienced sports lawyers or agents are skilled in the art of negotiation. Since professional athletes have only limited time to take advantage of their earning potential, hiring a sports lawyer to handle salary negotiations could help maximize your gain.
Last Modified: 10-28-2011 02:00 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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