Two consecutive days of negotiations between the NBA owners and players have not produced a new collective bargaining.
But the belief is the two sides are close enough that an agreement to end the four-month-old lockout could come as early as Friday when the two sides meet for a third consecutive day.
Yahoo Sports! reported that the two sides moved close to agreement after meetings Wednesday and Thursday and that the framework for new deal is at hand.
“It’s moved to a very good place,” said a source who had been briefed on Thursday’s 7½-hour bargaining session. “There’s a strong expectation [within the negotiations] that hands will shake [Friday].”
The two sides are set to reconvene at 10 a.m. ET on Friday. The last two days were spent primarily discussing the salary cap system and working through that. The small group of players and owners representatives will now reopen talks on the revenue split, with a proposal allegedly on the table that both sides can live with.
Last week’s three consecutive days broke down when the owners put a 50–50 take-it-or-leave revenue split proposal on the table. The players, who received 57 percent of the revenue under the last contract, countered with a proposal to keep 52.5 percent of the basketball revenue. So the owners walked.
But the two sides got together Wednesday for a marathon 17-hour bargaining session that spilled into Thursday morning, which then led to more meetings later Thursday.
Players’ union executive director Billy Hunter sounds optimistic that a deal may get done soon. If the framework for an agreement can be agrred upon Friday, there is a chance that much, if not all of the 82-game schedule can be preserved. NBA commissioner David Stern said the league will work with the union to schedule as many games as possible.
“I think we’re within reach — and within striking distance of getting a deal,” Hunter said. “It’s just how receptive the NBA is, and whether they want to do a deal.”
(Photo: Michael Cohen/GettyImages)
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