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Carmelo And LeBron's Expiring Contracts Proves NBA Needs A Franchise Tag

GREENWICH, CT - JULY 8:  Tom Martel, 19, of Southington, Connecticut stands in a large crowd of fans assembled outside the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich hours before LeBron James was to arrive July 8, 2010 in Greenwich, Connecticut. Free agent NBA player LeBron James announced live on ESPN from the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich that he will be playing for the Miami Heat this coming season.  (Photo by Christopher Capozziello/Getty Images)
Christopher Capozziello/Getty Images
John NeumanCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2011

If there isn’t enough drama surrounding Carmelo Anthony this year, then last year everyone got their fix with the LeBron James Parting Tour with the Cavaliers

There is one thing in common.  There needs to be a solution to these farewell tours by players and the circus that surrounds their expiring contract year. 

That solution is instituting a franchise tag.

Taking a page out of the NFL’s blueprint: Organizations should have the right to place the franchise tag on one player each year.

Each organization would not be required to place the tag on a player.  So, for example, if the Clippers didn’t want to tag Blake Griffin in the future when he becomes a free agent because they want to save money, then there’s no requirement.

However, if a team like Toronto wants to tag the player they drafted to help restore their franchise who legally left and sent the franchise back to where they were in 2003 when they drafted him, they would be able to place a franchise tag on Chris Bosh.

While it is extremely entertaining to talk about where free agents will land, especially with the question marks that surrounded LeBron last year and Carmelo this year, the players' colluding is making the general managers look like beggars rather than chess players.

Carmelo Anthony, this season, has had five teams tied up with players' names being thrown around in trade talks and interviews: the New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks.  It has gotten carried away to the point where media members are openly asking Melo about his preferences as to where he would like to land. 

The same thing happened as early as 2008 with LeBron when the media was talking “Summer of 2010.” 

Isn’t a player under contract supposed to honor the current team he is on without speculating about next year?

While it is great to see superteams like the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, the teams who the draft was intended to help ultimately get the worst end of the deal.

The franchise tag would eliminate this mess.  It would bring back the status quo to the people who pay the bills in the league—the owners.  And the players would still get paid—players with the franchise tag would be paid amongst the top five percent of NBA player salaries.

So why not eliminate the Farewell Tour in the year before a player hits the free agent market?

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