They're Baa-aaack

Players and owners reached a tentative agreement last night, ending the lockout. If approved, the NBA season would begin on Christmas Day. Camps open December 9th. Terms of the agreement include a 50/50 revenue split amongst the owners and the players. Sources indicate the agreement is for 10 years. From Yahoo, the highlights include:

• Revenue split: The players will receive anywhere from 49 percent to 51 percent of basketball-related income based on revenue projections.

• Maximum contract lengths: five years for Larry Bird rights players; four years for non-Bird players.

• Maximum salary: Only one player per team is eligible to receive a maximum salary worth 30 percent of the salary cap.

• Midlevel exception: up to $5 million starting salary with four-year maximum contract length; teams that exceed the luxury-tax threshold by $4 million will be limited to using a $3 million midlevel exception with a four-year maximum contract.

• New $2.5 million exception for teams below the salary cap to go over the cap. Those teams can’t use the midlevel or bi-annual exceptions.

• No reduction in rookie scale or minimum salaries.

• Extend-and-trade contracts similar to the one Carmelo Anthony(notes) received prior to his trade from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks last season will continue to be permitted.

• Escrow pool: Ten percent of player salaries will be held each year.

• Teams now have three days to match offer sheets given to their own restricted free agents.

• Minimum team salary increases to 85 percent of the salary cap in the first two years of the deal and 90 percent of the cap in the years thereafter.

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