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NBA says preseason starts Oct. 9

NEW YORK -- The NBA says its exhibition schedule will start Oct. 9, provided a new collective bargaining agreement with the players can be reached in time.

A preseason that starts on time -- or perhaps even happens at all -- seems unlikely given the gap between the sides more than a month and a half into the lockout. They have had one full negotiating session since and would probably need a deal by the middle of September to avoid having to cancel exhibition games.

Already scrapped were the usual exhibitions played overseas, which the league decided not to schedule this year given the possibility of a work stoppage.

The preseason would start with five games Oct. 9 and run through Oct. 28. The regular-season opener is scheduled for Nov. 1.