Michele Roberts is "optimistic" about the NBPA being able to reach agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement with the NBA.
The NBPA and NBA each has the option to conclude their 10-year deal signed in 2011 following the 2016-17 season.
“I can’t [discuss the talks] because I promised [not to],” she said. “I’m not going to be too terribly substantive but I will say I do believe and [Commissioner] Adam [Silver], I hope he agrees, he and I continue to maintain a civil relationship. I actually like him. I think that he’s a pro.
“We’ve had discussions. Our teams have been in discussions for some months now and we have made progress and we’re inclined to continue along those lines. We have meetings this summer and we’re meeting next week and [consistently] after that. We’re trying to get a deal as quickly as we can, ideally before the start of the season.”
Roberts said the discussions have been amicable and she remains hopeful of a deal before the Dec. 15 opt-out date.
“I’ve heard Adam proclaim his optimism,” she said. “I’ve proclaimed mine, so I would like to sooner rather than later be able to have a press conference where we both stand together and announce together that we have a deal and there will be no work stoppage. There will be no lockout.
“Having said that, I gotta be ready for anything. But I am optimistic.”
If a deal is not reached by Dec. 14th, the NBPA is likely to opt out the next day.
Talks between Roberts and Silver have been more cordial than they were under David Stern and Billy Hunter.
“Nothing is certain but I cannot imagine that if we don’t have an agreement on Dec. 14 and the opt-out deadline is Dec. 15, 2016, if that’s where I find myself, I think it’s probably a safe bet that we would opt out,” Roberts said. “I think it’s probably a safe bet that the league would. We want a deal. We don’t want to play the opt-out game. We want a deal.’’