When the process goes smoothly and the player signs a lucrative contract, he feels like all of his hard work has finally paid off and his family can be taken care of for generations to come. This is life-changing money that’s often guaranteed, so many players celebrate with their loved ones as soon as they reach an agreement. They suddenly have increased job security and much of the anxiety surrounding their future dissipates.
However, free agency doesn’t always play out that way. Every player hopes to find the right suitor and sign quickly, but everyone’s free-agency process plays out differently. That’s why July can be just as scary as it is exhilarating. For every player who signs a terrific deal and lands in the ideal situation, there is another individual who experiences drama behind-the-scenes and is upset with how the free-agency period is playing out.
Many players have a story that falls into the latter category. Some were burned by their agent, while others had a rough experience with a team. The one thing these stories have in common is that each player learned from his experience. Many of the players who offered to share their stories for this article said they hoped it could help other players when it comes time for them to negotiate a new deal.
HoopsHype talked to several current and former players about their free agency experiences. The players spoke on the condition of anonymity because they shared private stories (including some that involved other people around the league), so speaking publicly on this topic could jeopardize their relationships and career.
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