The NBA clearly thinks players and owners are going rip the "tentative" label off this labor deal, because most restrictions on team contact with, and speaking about, their players are being lifted.
This means teams can start talking to agents today (though it's obvious they have already started), meaning free agency effectively begins now, but agents will have to do a little more legwork for the time being. That's especially good news for the restricted free agents out there who can now actually gauge interest and maybe figure out where they'll land by December 9, and get a full training camp in before Christmas.
Team facilities are also opening up tomorrow to "voluntary player workouts." Guys can get in and start working out without coaches, but WITH team physicians and trainers. That's a big deal because it gives guys access to their normal facilities and the guys who can get them ready and provide preventative and recuperative care. With the short season coming up, the window to get ready is shorter as well. And keeping guys injury free is going to be one key to success.
There's one other nugget in this report:
A person familiar with the league’s Christmas schedule told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the NBA will feature five games this year on Dec. 25 instead of the originally planned three. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the NBA does not plan to announce the Christmas lineup until later this week. The decision for the league to schedule five Christmas games was first reported by The New York Times.
Maybe Zach Randolph will get his wish after all.
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