Both sides in the NBA's labor stalemate - 146 days old, and counting - are in talks now to reach an agreement on the current litigation, which they hope will allow for the NBA to resume games being played as early as Christmas, two league sources confirmed Wednesday night.
Yahoo! Sports was the first to report that both sides had resumed talks on Wednesday, talks that reportedly do not include union president Derek Fisher.
One source described this being "a longshot" that enough progress will be made for players to be back on the court by Christmas.
But another source added, "getting them to talk is a start. You can't begin to talk about games played, if you don't resume having some type of dialogue and conversations with one another."
After turning down the NBA's last proposal, the NBA Players Association filed a "Disclaimer of Interest" last week, which officially dissolved the union and opened the door for anti-trust lawsuits.
That would explain to some degree why the presence of Fisher in these conversations, are not needed.
The players, whose counsel now includes David Boies, soon filed lawsuits against the NBA in Northern California and Minnesota.
The complaint filed in California has been withdrawn.
"The likelihood was we'd get a faster result in Minnesota than California," Boies told reporters. "I think the result would be the same."
The league's attorneys, as you might expect, have a different take on the change in venue.
"This is consistent with Mr. Boies' inappropriate shopping for a forum that he can only hope will be friendlier to his baseless legal claims," said Rick Buchanan, NBA executive vice-president and general counsel.
According to the New York Times, the league wants to do a 66-game season if a deal can be struck to save Christmas Day games. At least a month is needed for games to be played, once a deal is agreed upon. During that 30-day period, teams will go through a shortened free agency period, training camp and preseason schedule.