Sources: Sides aim to meet mid-week

The NBA players and owners are trying to set up their next bargaining session this week. They are hoping to meet Wednesday and/or Thursday in New York City, according to sources close to the situation.

With the scheduled start of training camp just two weeks away, both sides are feeling a heightened sense of urgency. While tough rhetoric has come from both camps, sources say neither wants to postpone the start of the regular season.

Both sides are currently trying to rearrange their schedules to make way for a meeting. Any meeting this week will be a small group meeting that will include just a handful of leaders from each side.

The sides last met last Tuesday with both groups bringing their executive committees. Each side exited the meeting voicing pessimism over their inability to agree on the type of salary cap system they would use. David Stern spoke as if the owners were dead-set on having a hard cap while union chief Billy Hunter called for a soft cap and even labeled it a "blood issue."

But while a considerable distance remains between the sides, both seemed to be engaging in a bit of posturing on Tuesday. It turns out that they made progress on the economic front, as the players presented concepts that the owners felt were favorable.

The players, who earned 57 percent of Basketball Related Income under the last collective bargaining agreement, were willing to drop between 52 and 54 percent, sources said.

Chris Broussard covers the NBA for ESPN The Magazine.