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NBA Lockout Deal Shrinks Restricted Free Agency Matching Window

Teams will now have three days to match offer sheets signed by their restricted free agents under the NBA lockout deal tentatively reached early Saturday, reports Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski.

In the old collective bargaining agreement, teams had one week to match offer sheets. In the meantime, the team with which the player signed an offer sheet had the cap space used in the offer locked up in a cap hold. This created a bit of a hostage situation where the players' original team could string out the process for seven days, disallowing the offering team from making other major moves in the interim.

With the shorter window, more frequent and lucrative offer sheets are expected as teams won't be afraid of losing precious time with cap holds. That will mean even more this season, as free agency will begin on December 9 with the season slated to begin on December 25.