The fans asked for it, and the league listened: NBA free agency will officially commence at an earlier time slot, commissioner Adam Silver said at Tuesday's annual board of governors meeting, according to USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick.
That means basketball fans (and the media) won't be forced to refresh their browsers at 12:01 a.m. ET - and often much later into the night - to keep up with the first wave of free-agent agreements.
As in previous years, there were many agreements between players and teams reported at the stroke of midnight on July 1, from news of Paul George and Chris Paul re-signing with their respective teams, to Will Barton's four-year, $54-million pact with the Denver Nuggets, and lesser deals for the likes of Jerami Grant, Doug McDermott, Aron Baynes, and Marco Belinelli.
In addition to general convenience, moving the official start of free agency to mid-day - or prime time - comes with the benefit of making it more marketable as a broadcast event.