The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have a meeting scheduled for Wednesday in New York -- one day before the league's annual board of governors session -- as they inch closer to striking a new labor agreement, according to league sources.
The meeting is the latest signal, sources told ESPN, that a new deal to avoid a work stoppage is looming in the near future.
Sources say there is rising optimism on both sides of the bargaining table that the basic framework of a deal can be achieved as early as this month.
The current collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the NBAPA runs through June 2021, with both sides holding the right until Dec. 15 to express an intent to opt out in 2017.
But NBA commissioner Adam Silver said last week that he expects the parties to come to terms on a new CBA before the opt-out deadline.
"Both sides have been very engaged and eager to get a deal done," Silver said.
Speaking in China last week ahead of the 10th annual Global Games, Silver revealed that he spoke to Roberts during a recent league visit to Spain and said he would continue to pursue a fast resolution with the Players Association that avoids a lockout or any loss of games.
Negotiations on the last CBA led to a five-month work stoppage that lasted until December 2011 and shortened the 2011-12 season by 16 games, marking only the second time in league history that a labor impasse led to a reduced schedule.
With the league in a healthy state and money flowing into the game at unprecedented levels, there is strong motivation on all sides to avoid a work stoppage this time around.
"We don't want to strike and they don't want to strike," New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who is on the union's executive committee, said earlier this week. "So the best thing to do is really figure it out sooner rather than later.
"We want to try to get something done. I think the NBA and the owners are very receptive to that, and we are, too. I think [in the 2011 negotiation] we were so far away from each other. You can feel the difference, you can see the difference, you can see the reaction, you can see the contact we're having, the information that's being sent on both sides. I think we're closer to getting something done. Hopefully it'll get done soon."
ESPN.com's Chris Haynes, Brian Windhorst, Marc J. Spears and Marc Stein contributed to this report.