The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have expressed optimism over reaching a new collective bargaining agreement in the coming weeks before a key December date, according to a report by The Vertical.The current 10-year deal, signed in 2011, has a Dec. 15 opt-out clause, but both sides are looking to hammer a deal in place before that date.Sources have told ESPN that there is optimism on both sides of the table for a new agreement that would eliminate the possibility of a work stoppage in 2017.?With the league flush with money from its current television rights deals, both sides are motivated to get a deal done and avoid another lockout. The 2011-12 season was reduced by 16 games after the league and NBPA failed to reach a deal until December.NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts have had a high spirit of cooperation during the talks and are expected to make joint appearances in conjunction with the start of the season.An official update on the state of negotiations is likely in two weeks, when Silver makes his annual October address after a board of governors session.Among the items on the table, according to The Verticals report, are a higher rookie contract scale and two-way contracts between the NBA and NBA Development League.There have also been some discussions about making minor changes to the max contract scale. Custom Athletics T-shirts . There are surprises among the Vezina candidates, but most of the others are standard top-tier performers, even if the two Hart Trophy runners-ups have never been quite as good as they have been through the first half of the season. Custom Athletics Jerseys . If ever they start actually putting pictures beside words in the dictionary, the Blue Jays left-handers mug will appear beside “Consistency. http://www.customathleticsjersey.com/ .J. Jefferson has been charged with assaulting his girlfriend. Tony Phillips Jersey Large . The 27-year-old Scrivens will be joining his third NHL club since signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent in 2010. The move also reunites with him with head coach Dallas Eakins from their time together with the American Hockey Leagues Toronto Marlies. Cheap Custom Athletics Jersey .C. at the helm of the top team in the Eastern Conference. His tenure as the GM in Vancouver was all too brief. Though he led the Canucks to what was then a franchise record-shattering campaign in just his second season, Nonis was gone and replaced one year later. No. 21 Iowa State is off to a 3-0 start without getting challenged. That is expected to change this week at the Advocare Invitational.The Cyclones open tournament play Thursday against Indiana State (2-1) at the HP Field House in Orlando, Fla. The game tips off at 12:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2).The undefeated Cyclones beat Savannah State, Mount St. Marys and The Citadel by an average margin of 42.3 points. They waxed The Citadel 130-63 Sunday behind senior point guard Monte Morris triple-double.Morris finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He did not have a turnover and fueled the highest-scoring output in Cyclones history. The Citadel entered the game leading the nation in scoring, averaging 112.2 points per game, but was held to just 22 points in the first half and trailed by 40 at halftime.Second-year Iowa State coach Steve Prohm called the win the most complete game on both ends of the floor, but knows the competition is getting ready to ratchet up a notch in Florida.With a win over Indiana State, the Cyclones would face either Stanford or Miami (Fla.). The bottom half of the tournament bracket features No. 11 Gonzaga, Florida and Seton Hall.You never know until the next game, the next opponent, Prohm said after The Citadel game. (The Advocare Invitational) is great to find out where we are as a team. Win or lose, what we need to do to continue to be better, because we go down there and win three games and its still Nov. 28.We still have come home to play Cincinnati and go to Iowa. AAnd if your teams not getting better, then youre not going to stay on top of where you need to be.dddddddddddd This will be a great test for us.Indiana State, after dropping a two-point decision in overtime at Northern Illinois, bounced back with wins over Ball State and Division II Missouri-St. Louis. Sycamores coach Greg Lansing, an Iowa native, is in his seventh season at Indiana State.Junior guard Brenton Scott is averaging 22.3 points, tops in the Missouri Valley Conference. Senior guard Everett Clemons leads the Missouri Valley in assists at 6.3 per game and is tied for second in rebounding at 8.3 per game.The Sycamores were pegged to finish in the middle of the pack in the conference, but they have Prohms respect.Im very familiar with Indiana State, have played them several times, scrimmaged them several times, Prohm said. Greg does a really good job. But our guys will be ready. It will be good to go (to Florida). These preseason tournaments are really a lot of fun.The Sycamore took care of Missouri-St. Louis efficiently, racing out to a 50-22 lead at halftime and cruising to a 96-55 win.That was really important for us to send us off, going to Orlando in a national tournament this week, Lansing said.Indiana State has lost eight consecutive games to ranked teams, a stretch that dates back to Nov. 17, 2013, when the Sycamores upset of then-No. 21 Notre Dame. ' ' '