The NBA and the players association, without a collective bargaining agreement all season, will resume talks the second week of January.
"We stopped negotiating six weeks ago and both sides set out on a fact-finding mission," Larry Fleisher, the head of the union, said. "The fact-finding is over and we've agreed to get back together. It doesn't look good or bad; we've just agreed to start negotiating again."
The Phoenix Suns are still trying to trade Dennis Johnson, but his $500,000 salary is making it difficult . . . The Suns made one of the best trades in the offseason when they sent Truck Robinson to New York for Maurice Lucas. Lucas is averaging 17.4 points and 10.7 rebounds. Robinson is on the Knicks' bench. He averages 7.5 points and 6.7 rebounds.
CBS will go back on the air with the NBA Jan. 30 with the Los Angeles Lakers at Boston. It will show the All-Star game from Los Angeles Feb. 13, Seattle at Los Angeles Feb. 15 and Philadelphia at Boston Feb. 17. Its final regular-season game will be Philadelphia at New Jersey March 6.
NBA's contract with CBS called for four regular-season games and the All-Star game, but CBS showed two games during the NFL strike.
ESPN and USA cable are showing NBA games on Sundays and Thursday nights, as well as some Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Bad weather again foiled Detroit yesterday in its attempt to sign Jim Smith of the Wyoming Wildcatters in the Continental Basketball Association. The Pistons told Smith to fly to Salt Lake City and join the team for a game with the Jazz last night. Smith's plane from Casper, Wyo., to Salt Lake City was routed through Minneapolis, where storms grounded it. The Pistons are now hopeful Smith will join them today in Phoenix . . . Ex-Bullets Garry Witts and Billy Ray Bates are playing for the Maine Lumberjacks in the Continental League. . . Darryl Dawkins of New Jersey leads the NBA in fouls, committing 4.8 a game, followed by Jeff Ruland of Washington, 4.6.