NBA Lockout 2011 News: Optimism For 82-Game Season Remains After Another Productive Day Of Negotiation

After Wednesday's 15-hour meeting, the owners and players met once again on Thursday to discuss the NBA lockout. Both sides were still optimistic about playing a full season and plan to meet again on Friday.

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2011 NBA Lockout Update: After Productive Thursday Meetings, Both Sides Remain Hopeful

There's been an ever-so-positive wind running through the NBA's lockout over the past couple days, with both the league and the players union showing some signs of optimism about a deal actually getting done, via NBA.com. After we got word of a productive 15-hour meeting between both sides that occurred on Wednesday, it appears that optimism remains intact after Thursday's meetings.

Both sides took to the media after Thursday's meetings, and for the most part the situation appears to be fairly promising. Comments from both sides appeared to be geared towards the possibility that a deal actually gets done over the next few days, something that should really excite basketball fans around the world. And arguably more importantly, there's a small chance that we could still get a full season in.

This obviously has to be exciting for Denver Nuggets fans, who presumably would prefer to have a normal, full season of basketball after the Carmelo Anthony frenzy of 2010-2011. The Nuggets have seen numerous players leave the country to play overseas during the lockout, including J.R. Smith, Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari.

Smith, Kenyon Martin and Wilson Chandler have signed with Chinese teams during the lockout, which should have some extra significance given the Chinese league's policy against allowing players to return to the NBA this season once the lockout ends. Lawson in playing in Lithuania and Gallinari is playing in Italy during the lockout, and they'll be able to return to the Nuggets without any issues once the players and owners agree to a deal.

The most beautiful part of this entire discussion, though? We might actually be able to watch some basketball soon.

For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs, SB Nation's Denver Nuggets blog. Visit SB Nation NBA for news and notes around the league.

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NBA Lockout 2011 News: 15 Hour Negotiating Session Leaves Door Open For Full NBA Season

"Good morning, thanks for being interested,"  were the first words offered by NBA Commissioner David Stern in a press conference given after Wednesday's 15-hour closed-door negotiation session between representatives for NBA ownership and the NBA Players Association. Both sides acknowledged that progress has been made, however the NBA Commissioner was careful to stress that "there is no deal on anything until there is a deal on everything." 

The parties agreed to avoid disclosing the issues that were discussed and the progress made during the negotiating session, but there's no doubt the sides and try to negotiate some compromise on a luxury tax system, the specifics of the salary cap, and the dreaded BRI split.

The biggest nugget coming from the press conference was the fact that NBA commissioner David Stern left open the possibility of having an 82-game season if a deal is reach by this weekend. Stern explained a bit of the complexity behind finding room for a full season:

We've got building issues,we've building issues versus hockey issues, we've got travel schedules, we've got all kinds of things that are difficult for us. And we have the sheer volume of games that might have to be compressed and the amount of back-to-backs that players could be asked to play. And really in terms of the number of games that the fans could be asked to attend.

Nuggets fans can no doubt appreciate the scheduling issues associated with NBA arenas, given that the Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche both share the Pepsi Center. The good news is that progress has been made, and the parties are committed to more bargaining. Small groups representing NBA owners and the NBA players will return to the bargaining table Thursday afternoon.

With PG Ty Lawson making Twitter jokes about leaving his Lithuanian team and J.R. Smith still learning about censorship while playing in China, I'm sure they are among the countless NBA players looking forward to the beginning of the NBA season.

Stay tuned to SB Nation Denver for more lockout updates and information, and for in-depth analysis on the Denver Nuggets be sure to visit Denver Stiffs. Visit SB Nation NBA for news and notes around the league.

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