If a deal to end the NBA lockout deal is reached within the next few days, as is widely hoped and seen as plausible at this point, commissioner David Stern has said that the league would like to save as many games as possible, leaving open the potential for November games already cancelled to be added back in. To do that completely within the old regular season schedule would produce some nasty road trips. But the league may have another idea.
According to Howard Beck of the New York Times, the NBA has begun to ask arena officials to hold open dates in late April, with the assumption that the league would schedule regular season games beyond the traditional mid-April cutoff and push back the playoffs.
Arenas already keep a certain number of late April, May and early June dates open for postseason play (though there are always quiet battles for dates between the NBA and other major event circuits, like WWE). But every NBA arena would need to keep at least a few dates in late April open to shift the regular season there, and the playoff commitment would likely extend at least a week later, assuming that the league can't condense the first three rounds of the postseason by more than a week.