Let the Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving Era begin!
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 Cleveland Cavaliers won't have much, if any cap space to work with in the abbreviated free agency period depending on the final parameters of the salary cap. They will be ready to begin the rebuilding process in earnest though with top pick Kyrie Irving and number four overall pick Tristan Thompson joining the roster to begin learning under Baron Davis and Antawn Jamison. That is, if both vets aren't moved before the season starts.
The Cavs 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.