Happy Days are Here Again (or: goodnight, sweet lockout)

Goodbye, lockout. Go ahead and leave us alone forever now. And go ahead and let the door hit you on the way out. Last night, not 30 minutes after I went to sleep, both sides came to an agreement and signed off on a settlement to end the litigation, complete the lockout, and bring us a season starting on December 25th. Dave Checketts' heart is smiling. Now, us here at the Gothic have been making the best of the lockout (see: our Lockout Coverage tag) and we'd like to think we did a good job of covering it. But let's not beat around the bush. Nobody seriously wants to cover the lockout for a year, and nobody seriously wants to read about the lockout for a year. That would've been awful.

Thank God it's over, and thank God that arena workers can at least get 33 games of guaranteed income starting in 30 days. And that the bars and eateries suffering from the lockout can get the patronage they need starting on Christmas Day, if they can just survive until then. In all the player/owner love, very few people have been mentioning them -- and that's a shame, because it's THESE people that we should be giving our love to right now. They're the ones who have done the majority of the suffering. And they're the ones who I'm most glad will reap the benefits. Regardless. The NBA hasn't released the full deal yet, but by tilling through a variety of sources, we can pull together just enough information to start commenting on the deal in hand. Once we get a full reveal of the new CBA, I'll do a long analysis of that working off my last analysis. But until then? Scraps will do. Click the jump as I examine these scraps and muse on their importance.

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First, some nuggets from Chris Sheridan.

On the financial split, the players will receive between 49 and 51 percent of revenues, depending on annual growth. The players had complained prior to Saturday that the owners’ previous offer effectively limited them to 50.2 percent of revenues, but the source said 51 percent was now reasonably achievable with robust growth.

Well, that's a good thing. The band as it was previously designed made it virtually impossible for the players to drop below 49.7 or go above 50.3. So, a more honest BRI band that actually gives the players a fighting chance at 51 is a good "hey, we were offering you crap before, let's make that less awful" concession.

Owners dropped their insistence on what would have been known as the Carmelo Anthony rule, preventing teams from executing extend-and-trade deals similar to the one that sent Anthony from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks last season.

It will forever mystify me that this became a big deal. The owners had already enacted a 3 year delay rule that ensured this wouldn't come into play until halfway into the new CBA. Sure, it's an annoying little rule, but it comes into play barely at all. Not nearly enough for either side to attach that much value to it. This should ensure that future players get the same levity afforded Melo, LeBron, and Bosh when they signed their extend-and-trades. Rather straightforward, and one of the few things here that is specifically written with top tier free agents in mind.

A new $2.5 million exception will be available to teams that go below the salary cap, then use all of their cap room to sign free agents. Once they are back above the cap, they will be able to use the new exception instead of being limited to filling out their rosters with players on minimum contracts.

Assuming we're taking the previously discussed CBA as a baseline, this was part of that CBA and will most likely be set up the same way. I won't rehash why it's a good thing here -- just see my bit in my CBA analysis on exceptions and take a gander at everything I said about the "room" midlevel. Then apply it to this. Good for the players that they kept this.

The rookie salary scale and veteran minimum salaries will stay the same as they were last season. Owners had been seeking 12 percent cuts.

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