Agents, teams can begin talking

The NBA has informed teams that players can return to working out in team facilities Thursday, even though the new labor agreement has yet to be ratified, several sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Player agents also are allowed to begin speaking with team officials on Wednesday. Teams can discuss contract terms with agents, but are not allowed to enter into official agreements until the free agency period starts on Dec. 9, sources said.

All 30 NBA facilities are available to all players, including free agents. Coaches, general managers and front-office executives cannot be in the gyms during the workouts until the new collective bargaining agreement is finalized. One media relations official per team can attend the workouts to assist reporters who are allowed to watch. Trainers and strength coaches can assist in the player workouts, but can’t supervise or participate.

“Stepping back into the Target Center will be confirmation that the lockout is officially over,” Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love said. “It’ll be good to see the organization from top to bottom when it’s all said and done, helping us prepare for the upcoming season. Soon after the doors open up on Thursday, I’m hoping to see guys back to work.”

The NBA sent out an earlier memo that players could begin working out in practice facilities starting on Friday, but moved up the date by a day. Players have not been able to work out in team facilities since the lockout began on July 1.

NBA teams are expected to begin training camp on Dec. 9 and start the 2011-12 season on Dec. 25.

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Updated Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011