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Woj: "Lockout End Within Reach"

We've all been down this road before ...and more than once. Still, with talks now headed into their third day out of four, and signs pointing in the right direction, Adrian Wojnarowski writes there's "a belief that the end of the five-month lockout is within reach this weekend."

The context for that comment was word that Derek Fisher --and other players-- will be on hand Friday when the two sides try for what is being called "settlement talks" on the various lawsuits filed by the players and owners, most prominently the players' antitrust case. "It is felt that Fisher’s appearance is needed to reach an agreement on a deal"

Meanwhile, Chris Broussard is tweeting the players want movement on specific "system issues" before they accept a 50-50 BRI split, including max salaries at 30% of the cap, up from 25%; full four year MLE's and sign-and-trades for all teams, including luxury taxpayers; higher qualifying offers for restricted free agents and more escrow protection.

His ESPN colleague, Marc Stein, tweets that while "Serious idea swapping starts FRI"... "Sense here is more league insiders than not believe deal is forthcoming by MON."  Talks start at noon.