With a day of progress behind them and the hope of a full 82-game season still ahead, they resumed talks toward ending the lockout Thursday.
Over the weekend, ESPN reported that Commissioner David Stern was ready to cancel two more weeks of the season. Now, Stern said if a deal was done by Sunday or Monday, there could still be a full schedule.
"We're not putting a specific date on it," Stern said. "We just think we've got to do it soon, and if we could make a deal obviously we're partnered with the union in an effort to have as many games as we can."
Small groups from both sides returned to a hotel less than 12 hours after finishing a 15-hour meeting that went until past 3 a.m. Both sides acknowledged there was progress on issues related to the salary cap system, though they didn't offer any specifics.
A full season might be difficult even with a deal this week. It takes more or less 30 days from agreement to games being played, so it's uncertain if there's still time for any basketball in November even before examining arena availability.
The two sides are struggling on many issues, including revenue sharing, the length of the deal and player raises.
Players were guaranteed 57 percent of basketball revenues under the last CBA and have proposed a reduction to about 52.5. Owners have repeatedly said they won't go beyond a 50-50 split, which would leave the sides about $100 million apart annually based on last season's revenues.
The players might be more open to a 50-50 split if they get to keep some of the system issues they desire.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.