NBA owners and players continue to struggle with finding a middle ground to resolve the current NBA lockout. There's $4B in annual revenues at stake along with goodwill that has been built over a long period of time and the NBA cannot afford to miss half or all of the upcoming season.
Here are my suggestions for ending the lockout and returning to the basketball court.
1.) BRI split - The players and owners need to move closer to a 50-50 split of the BRI (basketball related income). The players currently take 57% of the BRI. A split of this revenue would be a big step towards finding middle ground.
2.) Flex cap - The players and owners need to agree to a flex cap. The owners are currently firm in their position for a hard cap, but this could be the #1 sticking point for why games are lost. A hard cap would eliminate "super teams" like the Heat, Lakers and Celtics as teams would no longer be able to afford three stars. TV ratings and fan interest has exploded because of the interest in the "super teams" and if those teams are forced to break up because of a hard cap it will be terrible for the league over the long haul.
3.) Revenue sharing - MLB has a revenue sharing system in place and the NBA needs to adopt a similar system. The Lakers, Knicks and Bulls make a tremendous amount of money from media rights fees because they play in large markets. The Lakers new TV deal with Time Warner Cable is worth $3B. By contrast, small market teams make $10-12M per season from their media rights deals. The NBA is not a balanced league and until there is revenue sharing between the big market teams and small market teams it will always be difficult for the small market teams to turn a profit.
4.) Amnesty provision - This rule was implemented during the last lockout. It allows each team a short window to wipe their worst contract from their books. The team has to pay the player in full, but the contract comes off the books. The players union likes it as the players get paid in full and the owners like it because they can get rid of one albatross contract.
5.) Franchise tag - Small market teams are very worried about keeping their superstars (see Chris Paul and Dwight Howard). LeBron and Carmelo have already left their old franchises in ruins and owners want to prevent superstars from teaming up in the future. Each team should adopt the NFL's "franchise tag" policy where they can tag one player per season. The player has to be paid at the top of their position but the owner gets to keep his superstar instead of seeing him leave town.
If the players and owners could agree to the above deal points, they would take a gigantic step towards resolving the current lockout.