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NBA Free Agents, Teams Can Talk Beginning Wednesday

In a surprise move, the NBA announced on Tuesday that while free agency won't begin until December 9, teams can begin talks with agents about free agent players beginning on Wednesday. The league that no deals can be offered or accepted -- even verbally -- until December 9, but that communication can begin.

It's unorthodox by NBA standards. In a normal NBA offseason, teams cannot have conversations with agents of free agent players from other teams until the stroke of midnight on July 1, the traditional start of free agency. By the time that the sun rises on July 1, there are usually a couple of verbal deals wrapped up.

How strictly the NBA will monitor its "no verbal offer or deal" rule remains to be seen. In practice, it might really just end up as a gag order on team execs and agents who reach quiet deals that will surely leak out, as all deals do.

The NBA also announced that team facilities will be opened on Thursday for voluntary camps.