10:38pm: The NBA and the NBPA are meeting tonight at the league’s office and David Aldridge of NBA.com (Twitter link) reports that the group licencing issue will not hinder their ability to consummate a deal.
10:21am: With the deadline approaching, only one issue stands in the way of a new collective bargaining agreement, tweets Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick. As talks wrapped up Monday night, a source told Soshnick that the owners and players were “98% there.”
The unresolved issue involves group licensing, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). “Still working at it, still close,” a source tells Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Both sides agree on the major points of the issue but are just “hashing out the language,” tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press.
Other major issues, such as retaining the current split of basketball-related income, have already been settled.
It’s the latest positive sign that a new CBA will be reached before 11:59 pm Thursday, which is the last moment that either side can opt out of the current deal. If someone does opt out, negotiators would have until June 30th to reach a new agreement before risking a lockout. The two sides also have the option of extending the deadline if a deal cannot be finalized in time.
TNT analyst David Aldridge also reported optimism Monday, hearing that more progress had been made (Twitter link). It’s a change in direction from Saturday, when Carmelo Anthony, a players association vice president, said he was skeptical that an agreement could be reached before the deadline.