With multiple outlets now reporting that the 149-day NBA lockout is over, it's time for NBA fans to focus on the upcoming key dates and team information they need to get them ready for a truncated season.
The NBA plans to play a 66-game schedule, beginning on Christmas Day, with a triple header: Boston at New York, Miami at Dallas, and Chicago at the Los Angeles Lakers. Training camps are slated to begin just 16 days earlier on December 9, with free agency to begin on that same date, possibly creating the same free agency frenzy fans saw when the NFL work stoppage ended.
As a reminder, here are the Wizards' free agents, without knowing how the cap situation works: Nick Young (restricted), Josh Howard, Yi Jianlian (already had his qualifying offer declined), Maurice Evans,Othyus Jeffers (with a QO), Cartier Martin, Hamady Ndiaye (with a QO), Larry Owens (with a QO).
Here's the Wizards' overall salary situation. You can add $4-5 million more for the salaries for Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton and Shelvin Mack.
If indeed the lockout has ended, the next four weeks are going to be a wild ride. And that's before the regular season even begins.
For more details on the lockout and the now impending NBA season, visit this Storystream and SB Nation's Washington Wizards blog Bullets Forever. Be sure to also visit SB Nation's NBA hub for more news and notes.