NBA free agency period to start six hours earlier

The period will open six hours earlier this year, the league and the announced Friday.

Teams and free agents now will be able to open their negotiations on June 30 at 6 p.m. ET instead of July 1 at 12:01 a.m.

The two sides may talk solely to schedule meetings beginning June 29 at 6 p.m. ET but can't talk numbers until 24 hours later.

The 2019 free-agent class has a number of big-name players, including stars and , (Toronto), Kemba Walker (Charlotte), Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler (Philadelphia), (Boston) and Khris Middleton (Milwaukee).

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