December 24, 2016 / 1:56 AM / 9 months ago

Players approve new collective bargaining agreement

(Reuters) - Players in the National Basketball Association approved their new seven-year collective bargaining agreement on Friday.

The NBA board of governors voted on Wednesday to approve the tentative agreement reached with the players’ union, and the players also approved ratification in an electronic vote that was finalised on Friday.

The document now just needs to be finalised and signed.

“The new Collective Bargaining Agreement was ratified this week by the NBA players and NBA Board of Governors,” the NBA said in a statement on Friday.

”The new agreement will take effect on July 1, 2017 and run through the 2023-24 season.

“The parties voted based on a term sheet that outline the key deal points. Once the NBA and NBPA finish drafting and execute the complete agreement, specific details will be released.”

Negotiations went smoothly this year, in marked contrast to the last round in 2011 when an impasse led to a 161-day lockout and a shortened 66-game season.

With a new nine-year television deal pumping $24 billion into the league, both sides had a lot at stake and it was in their mutual interests to get a deal done.

The new agreement is expected to include higher minimum salaries, tweaks to the drug-testing procedure, a shortened pre-season and a regular season with more days off between games.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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