League-wide this offseason, there are 171 free
agents-including both restricted and unrestricted free
agents. For the uninitiated, unrestricted free agents are
free to sign with any team who also wishes to sign them.
Restricted free agents, on the other hand, are free to seek
out any offer from any club, but the player's original
club has the right to match any offer to retain that
player. As long as the player's original club meets the
highest offer from an opposing club, the player's
rights stay with the original team.
How does this shake out for the Pacers? Glad you asked.
This offseason, the Pacers have seven free agents (not
including recently-retired Jeff Foster), two of whom are
restricted. If seven seems like a fairly high number of
free agents to you, it's because it is: Only a handful
of teams have more free agents than the Pacers (Atlanta,
Boston, Brooklyn, Charlotte, New York, Philly, and
Portland). Two ballclubs have the same as the Pacers
(Clippers and Suns). To break it down further, 2/3 of NBA
ball clubs have less free agents than we do.
Mathematically, 171 free agents league-wide spread across
30 teams in the NBA measures out to 5.7 free agents per
team. The simple arithmetic shows us that the Pacers have
1.3 more free agents on average than the rest of the NBA.
But, since there's no such thing as 0.3 of a free
agent, we'll round down and say the Pacers have one
more free agent than the league average. That may not seem
like a lot, but for a team with only 12 active roster
spots, one extra free agent is both statistically
significant and significant in terms of who the
players are on the free agent list.