Stern told reporters the NBA was careening down a track to lose a collective $300 million this season, not much better than the $340 million in red ink last season.
"While that is true some teams in the short term will do better if they are not paying players salaries (next) season, our goal still is to not have a work stoppage and to get a deal done," Stern said in New York where the league's Board of Governors met this week.
USA Today said Saturday Stern declined to say how the new offer might differ from the proposal made to the players' association last year. That plan included a hard salary cap and other items the union was against.
The players made a counteroffer in July, but the league never formally responded.
"There are other ways to reach the same goal, and that is a system in which all 30 teams can compete, and, if they are well managed, to make a profit," said Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. "We have never suggested to the union that there's only one way to accomplish that end."