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NBA Lockout: Owners, Players Agree To End Lockout, Return Pistons To Court

The NBA owners and players began meeting on Friday at noon and didn't stop until reaching an agreement 15 hours later at 3:00AM Saturday morning. Yes, the NBA parties have agreed to a tentative deal that will end the NBA lockout and launch a free agency and training camp frenzy so the season can begin on Christmas Day.

As Adrian Wojnarowski reports, the deal must be finalized and approved by both parties, but commissioner David Stern expects that to happen.

"We're optimistic that the [agreement] will hold and we'll have ourselves an NBA season," NBA commissioner David Stern said at a brief news conference held in New York with Players Association executive director Billy Hunter and president Derek Fisher(notes).

Free agency and training camps will start on Dec. 9, Stern said. Under the current agreement, the regular season would have a 66-game schedule that begins on Christmas Day with three games: Boston Celtics at the New York Knicks; Miami Heat at the Dallas Mavericks; and Chicago Bulls at the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Detroit Pistons should be busy starting, well now, as they decide how to move forward this season with a cast of veterans making big dollars while working rookies Brandon Knight, Kyle Singler and Vernon Macklin into the mix. Of course, that all depends on the final salary cap number and limits in the NBA labor agreement so this story is just beginning. 

The Pistons will presumably begin their season on December 26th since the league is trying to squeeze in a 66-game season, but that is just speculation since the schedule will need to be redrawn by the league.