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Players have said the issues of the system and split are largely tied together, though Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver have said they believe they are separate.

The key question is whether owners will insist on having both _ and it sounds like they might.

“We need to resolve both issues and both issues are critical,” Silver said. “One is not dependent on the other.”

Both issues have derailed talks previously, with the split emerging as the bigger hurdle last week. Now the sides have arrived at what might be the toughest part, because it always seemed these talks would come back to money.

“We’re working at it,” Fisher said. “It’s a tough process and as we move through and try to close the gap in as many places as we can, it gets tougher towards the end.”

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Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: twitter.com/Briancmahoney