The sides met again yesterday, and unfortunately, they dug into their positions rather than conceding anything. As such, the NBA will officially cancel training camp and the initial stages of preseason today.
The players had conceded on money last week, conceded enough that a deal might be struck. However, both sides refuse to bend on league structure, and a deal is not getting done.
At some point, the owners should hopefully wake up and smell the stupidity of their bargaining stance here. They've got a lot more to lose than gain by continuing this battle at this point.
Given the insanity of holding up the season over cap structure with money split in the ball park, I expect that these sides work out some type of reasonable compromisee.
Canceling of training camp and preseason isn't too big a deal for anyone. Most season ticket holders probably view canceling of preseason as a tremendous bonus as they don't have to pay full price for games they don't want to go to. [Note, I don't fall into this group, I'd probably pay double to go to the first preseason game because I'm so juiced for the season to start again, but I'm a rare exception]
To put it bluntly, we'll have to hope that owner sanity prevails. Changing up the system won't do nearly so much to benefit the small owners as some seem to think. In fact, it will considerably raise their costs and won't improve their teams any.
The only difference it will make is that a team like Oklahoma City which is small market but has a superstar will be able to cash in far more money in the Kevin Durant era than it does now. However, Oklahoma City probably isn't hurting right now. The change won't help Cleveland, Minnesota, or Sacramento. If anything those small market teams with losing teams will have an increase in costs with no increase in benefits.
Under a hard cap rule, they can't be subsidized by L.A. and Dallas putting out a large payroll. Nope, they have to kick in an even share, and the system won't make them any more competitive without the talent, nor will the system make it more likely they get the talent as that will still largely be determined by draft success.
Given how much everyone has to lose and how little everyone has to gain by continuing to hold out on this stance, I expect a deal to be struck. I expect the owners to fold on this issue as it's only important to probably half the owners while the lost season hurts them all.
The real question is how long does it take? I'm predicting the we lose less than a month of regular season basketball at this point.