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NBA Lockout: Derek Fisher Returning To Talks Despite Lawsuit

The NBA lockout is headed toward its latest doomsday weekend as the Christmas games are expected to be canceled if a settlement can't be reached between the players and owners before Monday morning. The players apparently believe that a deal is close, however, as they have made the risky move of bring Derek Fisher back into the fold at the negotiating table.

Fisher, the president of the Players Association, hadn't been involved in the talks earlier this week to preserve the sanctity of the antitrust lawsuit filed last week. The pending deal has brought him back, however, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

His appearance in this week's negotiations - along with that of several other key Players Association officials - figures to run the risk of validating the league's charges that the disbanding of the union was a "sham" negotiating tactic. Nevertheless, the belief that the end of the five-month lockout is within reach this weekend inspired Fisher to make the risky move to join the talks.

One other familiar face will be involved on Friday, too, after sitting the last couple of sessions out. Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe reports that union lawyer Jeffrey Kessler will be involved in talks, either via phone or in person, after previous sources said otherwise.