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NBA Lockout Upate: Owners, Players Agree To End Lockout, Return Timberwolves 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 ahristmas 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 Minnesota Timberwolves will be among the most interesting young teams in the league to start the season. The Wolves won't have much cap space, depending on what the final cap limit ends up being, but with Kevin Love leading the young core group of players, including the addition of Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams they will start the season as one of the more intriguing teams in the league under experienced, first-year coach Rick Adelman.

The Wolves 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.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.