The NBA and NBPA have agreed to federal mediation and conciliation service.

George Cohen will oversee negotiations, with the first sessions beginning on Tuesday.

"For a number of months, I have participated in separate, informal, off-the-record discussions with the principals representing the NBA and the NBPA concerning the status of their collective bargaining negotiations," Cohen said in the statement. "It is evident that the ongoing dispute will result in a serious impact, not only upon the parties directly involved, but also, of major concern, on interstate commerce—i.e., the employers and working men and women who provide services related to the basketball games, and, more generally, on the economy of every city in which those games are scheduled to be played. 

"In these circumstances, the agency has invited, and the parties have agreed, to convene further negotiations under my auspices," Cohen said.

Cohen, appointed by President Barak Obama, was called upon to mediate the NFL's labor negotiation with the NFL Players Association before that sport's recent lockout was imposed. He has no binding authority and can only make suggestions.