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NBA, union to meet next week

The NBA and National Basketball Players' Association have agreed to meet again next week, according to two sources close to the situation.

As was the case with Wednesday's six-hour meeting in New York, next week's session is expected to include only a small group of representatives and will likely take place on Wednesday or Thursday. It will be just the third meeting since the lockout began on July 1.

There isn't much time left for the start of the season to be saved. While commissioner David Stern refuted reports that he had set a Sept. 15 deadline by which preseason games would be canceled if a resolution is not reached, it will become a reality if there isn't an agreement soon. If nothing else, progress is needed by that date to avoid the owners galvanizing at a Sept. 15 Board of Governors meeting in Dallas. As Stern indicated in a recent podcast with ESPN, their offers will only get worse once games are lost as they attempt to recoup their losses suffered during the work stoppage.

The monumental gap between the two sides remains, with the issues ranging from the split on basketball-related income to the preferred type and structure of the salary cap and much more. One of the sources said the owners did not put forth a new proposal, as the NBPA had hoped, but that much of the time was spent "laying the groundwork" for future discussions.

NBPA president Derek Fisher -- who was joined by Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, Spurs owner Peter Holt, NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and union counsel Ron Klempner in the meeting -- told reporters on Wednesday that "both sides [are] feeling a sense or urgency" to get a deal done.

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