NBA labor negotiations enter key stretch

This is a big week for the NBA, per ESPN.

A pivotal stretch in the NBA lockout begins Tuesday, when full bargaining committees return to the table.

That could move players and owners closer to a new labor deal, but it also could send things in the wrong direction with time running down if more voices in the room leads to discord.

Any setback now would diminish hopes of the preseason opening without delay.

The process toward getting a new collective bargaining agreement seems to have gotten back on track after three meetings in the past two weeks between top negotiators from each side.

They decided their full committees have to return before they can go any further, so the owners’ labor relations committee and the union’s executive committee were told to come to New York for a session Tuesday, and perhaps even Wednesday. That should more than double the number of people in the room from last week, when there were nine.

The league is running out of time to get something done so that the season isn’t delayed. Although no one seems particularly optimistic about the chances of the two sides striking a deal, it’s a good sign that they’re bringing their bargaining committees to the table. We’ll have a better idea where a potential deal stands on Thursday.

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