After missing Tuesday's players meeting due to a death in the family, Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer will join player representatives from the NBA's other 29 teams at the players union's meeting Monday morning in New York to discuss the owners' latest labor proposal, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Sunday afternoon.
John Lucas III filled in for Boozer earlier this week, when Joakim Noah, the alternate team rep, also wasn't able to attend.
While labor talks between the two sides broke off Thursday -- the second consecutive day of meetings, sidestepping commissioner David Stern's Wednesday deadline for an agreement -- the players received from the owners an offer deputy commissioner Adam Silver described as "the best we can do."
On Tuesday, the players enjoyed a rare victory in the public-relations battle against the league. But Stern used the weekend to make it clear that whether there will be a collective bargaining agreement in the next few days is up to the players, who are being enticed by a potential 72-game season that would begin on Dec. 15.
"We came out of [Thursday] with a proposal as far as the owners could possibly reach to the players, that provides a 72-game season starting on Dec. 15," Stern told ESPN's SportsCenter Friday night. "I'm very, very hopeful that the players and the union will say, 'Yes, let's have a season and let's begin it on Dec. 15.'
"If it's not accepted, then we'll be substituting the proposal that the union knows about when the clock starts again, and it's going to be very far from where this proposal is. ... It's all in the hands of the players."
Throughout this lockout, players have continued to make economic concessions for the owners. Following Thursday's lengthy session between both sides, union officials said the revised proposal doesn't accommodate the players on key system issues that they are seeking before accepting a 50-50 split of basketball-related income.
Obviously, the union did not receive the offer it had hoped for.
"It does not meet us entirely on the system issues that we felt were extremely important to try and close this thing out, and so at this point we've decided to end things for now, take a step back," union president Derek Fisher said. "We'll go back as an executive committee, as a board, confer with our player reps and additional players over the next few days. Then we'll make decisions about what our next steps will be at that point."
Added union executive director Billy Hunter: “It’s not the greatest proposal in the world, but I have an obligation to at least present it to our membership."
After attending Tuesday's meeting, Lucas was encouraged by the union's leadership and that the players were "on the same page." With a membership of roughly 450 players, the union and its player representatives will face their biggest test to this point on Monday.