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NBA Lockout Is Tenatively Over, So Here Are Some Key Dates

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I'm on vacation in Florida, but BNIE texted me the news that the NBA lockout is over, pending the reformation of the NBA Players Union, the owners approving it and both sides voting on the new deal.  That means our attention can (finally!) shift towards actual basketball-related storylines.

There's still a lot left to be known, but here's what we do know. 

  • First, the season will start on December 25, though the Wizards won't be starting until later. 
  • Everyone will play a modified 66-game schedule -- it remains to be seen which teams will be cut from the normal 82-game schedule, but Tom Ziller believes the schedule will include two games each for out-of-conference foes, leaving eight games leftover.  
  • Free agency will likely begin on December 9, because it'll likely take that much time for the union to reform and everyone to vote.  That'll mean free agency would begin 16 days before the season begins. 
  • It also looks like training camp will start then, if not earlier.  This means we'll potentially see a situation similar to the NFL, where there's a quick free-agent blitz and they may have to wait to practice.  Luckily, there aren't as many NBA free agents.
  • As a reminder, here are the Wizards' free agents, without knowing how the cap situation works: Nick Young (restricted), Josh Howard, Yi Jianlian (already had his qualifying offer declined), Maurice Evans, Othyus Jeffers (with a QO), Cartier Martin, Hamady Ndiaye (with a QO), Larry Owens (with a QO).
  • Here's the Wizards' overall salary situation.  You can add $4-5 million more for the salaries for Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton and Shelvin Mack.

All these questions will soon be answered.  For now: happy NBA-ing!