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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.