Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Negotiators met for more than 15 hours, finishing past 3 a.m. ET Thursday, and sources said talks centering on the system issues resulted in significant progress on one of the labor fight’s most vexing obstacles: the luxury tax teams would have to pay for going over the salary. Negotiations will resume at 2 p.m. ET Thursday.
“They need [Thursday] to punch it over end line,” one source briefed on the talks told Y! Sports.
The bottom line is that this isn't easy, but it's doable if the league is willing to phase in its vision for competitive balance — and if the union is willing to trade some system restrictions for a more favorable BRI split than the 50-50 offer they've thus far been unable to accept. With further cancellations threatening to wipe out $1 billion or more when the fight is about pocket change by comparison, we have reached the fourth quarter of these negotiations. We have arrived at the time for big-time horse trading and compromise, the point where logic and reason must rise to the top.
I don't want to dive into analysis, because every bit of good news has been followed by something unsettling, so pardon me if I wait for the other shoe to drop.
Both sides came out of last night talking about progress. Even Derek Fisher had this to say:
The deal will have to be done today to make that happen, really. And we've been here before. I would have sworn a deal was going to get done two weeks ago. And now I'm sitting here maybe more hopeful than anything, thinking a deal is going to get done today.
I guess it's the hopeless romantic in me.
The rest of the links: