Let's cut right to the core of this one: according to NBA.com, an tentative agreement to end the lockout has been reached.
What's next? First thing is reforming the union. At the same time, this settlement will have to be turned into a Collective Bargaining Agreement, which the players must vote on, and then get the owners to sign it. This should take about a week or so, and after that, it's free agency and training camp.
Free agency & training camp should start on the 9th of December, with the actual season starting on the lovely date of the 25th of December, and we're to expect a 66-game schedule.
This is what we've been waiting for, and it came just in the nick of time too, with this weekend (or rather, next Monday) set as the ultimate deadline for the salvation of the season. Perhaps you might want to pinch yourself, since this time, it seems like the real deal.
The deal, as expected, sports a tighter spending limit than before, attempting to give the "slightly less big spenders" of the league a chance to bring a ring to their franchises. As for the Celtics, we can probably expect a bunch of veterans to show up for training camp, who are kind of counting on a ring.
Looks like Santa delivered on this one.