The Euroleague and the NBA are in intensive talks to set up a tournament between the top teams in the NBA and the Euroleague ahead of the 2006/7 season.

The talks are being headed by NBA International vice president Andrew Messick and Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu, and could be the first step on the road to an NBA Europe.

The planned format is a series of mini-tournaments hosted by Europe's leading clubs, with two Euroleague clubs and one NBA team participating, followed by a Super Final with six teams.

The idea could be raised at today's Euroleague board meeting in Moscow. CSKA Moscow manager Sergei Kushnetzki, a member of the Euroleague board, told Haaretz yesterday that the project was "a very real possibility.

The negotiations are looking at sporting, marketing and technical issues. The Euroleague wants to achieve for its teams terms equal to those of NBA teams."

The CSKA manager said that one possibility being examined was to invite NBA teams with European representatives, such as the Utah Jazz with Andrei Kirilenko, the San Antonio Spurs with Tony Parker, and the Memphis Grizzlies with Pau Gasol, in order to attract maximum interest.