EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has acquired rights to Sam Regnier’s script Free Agent, one of the winners of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ annual Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting that were announced earlier this week.

Sam RegnierThe screenplay by the former Paramount assistant centers on a female NBA executive for the Golden State Warriors who pursues the biggest free agent of her career while managing a messy divorce and a complicated relationship with a younger colleague and his teenage sister. The pre-emptive deal was made before the Nicholl honor came down.

Alex Ginno and Mark Ross will overseeing the project for CBS Films, which is coming off picking up U.S. distribution rights in Toronto to drama The Sense Of An Ending now shooting in London. It’s also in preproduction on Middle School (based on the James Patterson kids books) and in post on Comancheria written by Sicario scribe Taylor Sheridan and directed by David Mackenzie. Also on the slate: the Peter Berg-directed Patriots’ Day, about the Boston Marathon bombing, which is shooting in Boston early next year.

The five winners of the 30th annual Nicholl fellowships will each receive $35,000 and the screenplays will be performed at a live reading in November.

Regnier is repped by Scott Carr’s Management SGC and attorney Gregg Gellman.