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NBA says free-agent negotiations can begin Aug. 2

NBA free agency ahead of the 2021-22 season will begin on Monday, Aug. 2, at 6 p.m. ET, with contracts allowed to be officially signed on Friday, Aug. 6, at 12:01 p.m., the league said.

Monday's announcement comes in the wake of the league saying last month that the NBA draft will take place July 29, the draft lottery will be June 22 and the draft combine will be June 21-27.

Because of the delays to the league's calendar due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this entire season and upcoming offseason are happening about a month later than usual. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said that the league's goal for the 2021-22 season is to return to the usual schedule with the season beginning in October.

"I'm fairly optimistic, at this point, that we'll be able to start on time," Silver said during his All-Star weekend news conference in early March.

There is no word yet about whether the NBA will conduct its usual summer league this offseason; it was canceled last year due to the pandemic. Silver has said that the league is exploring options to have some sort of summer league.

The NBA Finals are scheduled to take place in July, with Game 7, if necessary, scheduled for July 22.