The only way to avoid that is if both sides agree to a stipulation that the lost year "never took place" and resume all contracts as if there was no lockout. If they don't do that, then all players lose a year on their deal.
All of that being said....we' won't miss a full season. All of that is posturing for the public by the negotiating sides, and fear mongering by the media.
The #1 issue is revenue sharing and how poor it is in the NBA. The Knicks BRI (basketball related income) gets a huge shot of steroids right in the ass (no homo) because of the MSG network. The team essentially owns the network, but the network also has the exclusive broadcast rights for the team in it's home market...not SNY, not Comcast sports net, or Fox sports, or anyone else...it's the network that the team essentially owns. So every time you see a "Dial 7" cab commercial, or Rosco the bed bug sniffing dog commercial, that's ad revenue being generated by the network and I believe a cut of that is added to the Knicks BRI for their broadcasting rights. While I obviously don't know the exact numbers...I can tell you that the Knicks make more money with the MSG network than the Bucks do with Fox Sports Midwest, therefore they have a higher BRI, and more money to spend (that's why we were almost always in the luxury tax territory.)
BRI also takes other things into account like 40% of all proceeds from luxury suits. MSG's luxuray suites always have suits & ties in em, and they cost. Other teams have these advantages too, but not many. That's the issue.
The teams without, want a better revenue sharing model that gives them extra skrilla to work with since their BRI isn't as impressive as the big market teams. And while some of these NBA teams are exaggerating how much their losses are, there's no question that there are teams hemorrhaging money like a stuck pig...look at the Maloof family.
Since I don't know what the current revenue sharing model is, I dunno how these small market teams want to alter it to make it better for them...but one thing I do know is that the big market teams...the ones with the money and high BRI, are saying "why the **** should we give you guys any more money??" So the divided owners (those with cheddah, and those without cheddah) come together against a common enemy...the players. "Give back 40% of your money....every single year for the next half decade...and we won't work out the issues among ourselves, kay?" And the players are looking at the owners like "" cause that's not happening.
So...the closer it gets to the season, the pressure is on the owners who can't afford to miss a season....because they can barely afford to even operate during a season...and the players. Despite all the posturing in the media...teams can't afford to miss a season. Check it out, the Celtics' owner doesn't even own TD Garden...they rent it, and they recently extended their lease thru 2021. Rent is rent, whether or not you're actually on the premises means jack ****..you gotta pay your rent. So if there are not ticket sales, no concession sales, no cash-flow from any parking arrangements...but there's still rent to pay...why would an owner sit back and say " no season? no problem"
Cash rules everything. And when cash isn't being deposited but cash is being withdrawn, those owners will cave and something will get done. My money is on the owners without, who end up loosening up on some of their demands. The players might give back some money in a new salary cap model, but it won't be as much as the owners are asking for.