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NBA owners, union reach tentative agreement

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A one-year increase in the minimum age was part of a new six-year collective bargaining agreement tentatively reached Tuesday by NBA owners and players.

Commissioner David Stern and union director Billy Hunter finalized the deal in principle in New York. The agreement will replace the seven-year pact expiring June 30.

Other facets of the new deal will make trades easier, increase pensions for retired players, impose harsher penalties on drug violators and offer teams the option of sending young players for minor-league seasoning.

The salary cap will be raised from 48.04 percent of revenues to 51 percent. Players will be guaranteed 57 percent of revenues.

Active rosters will be expanded from 12 to 14, and players will have the right to an arbitrator's review of any suspension of more than 12 games for on-court misconduct.

On the age limitation, American players will have to wait one year after their high school class graduates before they can become draft eligible. International players will have to turn 19 by the end of the calendar year in which they become draft eligible.