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Merry Christmas! Celtics are back

Brian Babineau/Getty Images

It looks like the NBA's "nuclear winter" is over. The players and owners came to a handshake agreement late Saturday night to end the 149-day lockout.

Celtics fans woke up this morning feeling like it was Christmas, which incidentally is when they'll likely see their team take the court for the first time. The Green are tentatively scheduled to be part of the NBA's Opening Day tripleheader, facing the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 25.

Neither side provided many specifics but said the only words players and fans wanted to hear.

"We want to play basketball," NBA commissioner David Stern said.

After a secret meeting earlier this week, the sides met for more than 15 hours Friday, working to try to save the season. This handshake deal, however, still must be ratified by both owners and players.

Stern said it was "subject to a variety of approvals and very complex machinations, but we're optimistic that will all come to pass and that the NBA season will begin Dec. 25."

Training camp and free agency are tentatively scheduled to begin on Dec. 9, so Danny Ainge and the Celtics have plenty of work to do to build the roster. Here's a primer on some free agents the Celtics could pursue in the coming days and weeks.