NBA owners, players reach tentative agreement on new labor deal

The NBA and its players agreed to keep the most lucrative era in league history rolling.

The sides agreed in principle on a new collective bargaining agreement, one that could last up to seven years and needs now only to be ratified by players and owners in the coming weeks. The deal was struck a day before the sides faced a deadline for opting out of the current deal.

If approved by votes of players and owners — likely to be formalities — there will be no lockout next summer and no labor issues for years to come.

If the deal is ratified, the season will start a week earlier, preseason games would be capped at six and one of the most dreaded elements of the schedule — the four-games-in-five-days stretches — may be eliminated.

Other details of the new proposed CBA include increases in values of rookie-scale contracts, minimum salaries and exceptions, with a 45 percent increase in minimum salaries across the board in the first year of the new agreement. The rookie deals will be proportionate to the salary cap, either rising or falling as that does. The average player salary is expected to hit $8.5 million next season and rise to $10 million by 2020-21 under the new terms.

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