Progress Reported in NBA Lockout Negotiations; Agreement by End of Week "Very Possible"

Buckle your seat belts because the roller coaster is soaring back up. Owners and NBPA representatives have been meeting in New York City since 12 PM EDT today and are still meeting as of 1 AM EDT. Several NBA reporters have tweeted encouraging reports, including this one from Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix:

@ChrisMannixSI: One source briefed on the talks Wednesday said agreement by the end of the week "very possible." "Lot of real progress tonight," source said.

Talks today have focused on system issues, including salary cap and luxury tax, with the implication that the basketball-related income split will follow once those are resolved. Union chief Billy Hunter didn't explicitly reject the concept of a 50-50 BRI split when talks broke off last week, as long as some of the other issues were agreeable to the players. And the owners have publicly offered the 50-50 split, so a deal isn't so far away. According to the New York Times' Howard Beck (his full story can be found here):

@HowardBeckNYT: When talks broke last week, union said they needed to know what system was before they'd even entertain 50-50.

All sounds promising, yes? It does, except that we've been here before in the last few weeks. The sides will likely meet again Thursday, after I'd assume they sleep in after what must have been an exhausting day today. And, maybe again Friday. Talks could come crashing down at any point and leave us as frustrated as we were the last time, and the time before that.

Keep the seat belt buckled and try not to let the roller coaster make you nauseous. Hopefully it'll be over soon, and we can get some cotton candy and deep-fried Twinkies.

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