The NBA's current collective bargaining agreement runs through the 2010-11 season, though the owners have the option to extend it an additional year.
Sparked by the state of the economy, David Stern and Billy Hunter have already had informal talks about reopening the agreement.
Stern said on Monday that those talks will pick up after the NBA finals in June. The owners will put together a negotiating committee after their meetings in New York this week and the players will soon do the same. In the meantime, Stern said the league has begun gathering financial documents.
"There will be no question about the financial fact of life in the NBA and we'll all be looking at the same picture as we begin this process," Stern said.
There's been speculation that the owners will take a hard line on everything from lengths of contracts to minimum salaries, and would even be willing to lock out the players as they did at the start of the 1998-99 season until they find a more preferable system.
"The big question is what's the appropriate divide between players and owners in terms of the division of revenues?" Stern said. "What's fair for the players to make in terms of a percentage of revenue and the owners in order to have some return on their investment in these great franchises. I anticipate a balanced approach in that respect."
Stern believes the players are prepared to give ground.
"They absolutely see our fans, their families, our neighbors," he said. "They watch the same reports that you and I do. They're finely attuned to what's going on, both in America and around the world."