The NBA lockout is over, and no one is eager to do this again. The next labor stoppage could be determined by the length of the new collective bargaining agreement. As of now, that remains under wraps. We do, however, have some indications based on the previous set of negotiations as to where the endpoint will land.
The league had been pushing for a 10-year deal taking the league up to 2022. The belief is that with growing revenue and the expected windfall from a new national TV deal in 2016, the concessions won in this deal will allow the league to reach profitability soon and carry it through.
But the players are also looking lustily at that new TV deal, and suspect that if the league were currently getting full market value for its ad inventory, owners wouldn't have been able to claim losses in 2011. So the players want the opportunity to reset the revenue split in 2016, when a new TV deal comes in. The chances of the owners ever moving back toward players from the 50-50 revenue split that is apparently a part of this deal are remarkably small, in my opinion. But nevertheless, the players had pushed for an opt-out after six years, or in 2018. The league would be expected to want a mutual opt-out there, just in case the TV deal disappoints.
So the next NBA lockout could be as soon as 2018, 2022 or never. I'll bet on the first date.