New Agreement Officially Ends NBA Lockout

The new collective bargaining agreement was approved by more than 86 percent of the 200-plus NBA players who voted by email on Wednesday and Thursday, the National Basketball Players Association said Thursday evening.

The 10-year agreement was also approved by 25 out of the 30 NBA team owners.

The approval of the deal means that training camps can now go ahead Friday. It also means the keenly awaited free-agency period will open at 2:00pm Friday.

"I am pleased to announce that we have concluded the collective bargaining process and have reached an agreement that addresses many significant issues that were challenges to our league," NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement.

"This collective bargaining agreement will help us move toward a better business model, a more competitive league and better alignment between compensation and performance."

The new CBA includes a 50-50 split of basketball-related income, a higher luxury tax with progressive tax rates and the retention of a soft salary cap system, the NBA said.

The maximum length of player contracts will be reduced to five years, from six, annual increases in salaries will be restricted to a maximum of 7.5 percent for teams re-signing their players and 4.5 percent for teams signing other teams' free agents.

The final vote was nothing but a formality after both players and team owners last month gave the go-ahead for the 66-game season to start on Christmas Day.