The NBA has announced the following to InsideHoops.com and other media:

The NBA and the National Basketball Referees Association announced today that they have entered into a new labor agreement.

The five-year agreement, which will run through the 2015-2016 season, has been ratified by the NBA Board of Governors and by the NBRA.

The AP reports:

The NBA and its referees agreed to a new five-year deal Thursday, just two years after a contract dispute nearly caused the league to open the season with replacements.

A person familiar with the negotiations says the referees approved the deal last week, and owners are scheduled to vote on it later Thursday at their meeting in Dallas. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been approved yet.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo reports:

The existing two-year labor agreement between the NBA and referee’s union expired Sept. 1, and the league was facing the possibility of using replacement officials for the second time in the past four years. Replacement referees were used in the 2009-10 preseason, but a deal was ratified before opening night of the season.

This agreement clears the way for the NBA to focus solely on its negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association. The NBA locked out the players on July 1, and talks have broken down between the two sides. It appears almost impossible for the NBA’s training camps to open as scheduled on Oct. 3.