Franchise tag may not be part of NBA’s future after all


A lot of things that were thrown out on the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiating table in the last year were never intended to be part of the final deal. Like contraction — David Stern put that on he table just for something to take off during negotiations to get something he wants.

Apparently, the franchise tag is the same thing.

This is what David Stern said in a press conference before Game 1, according to the New Orleans Times Picayune.

“That hasn’t been proposed,” Stern said. “We have historically tried to make it more attractive for a player to stay with his current team, and I’m sure that trend will continue, if not enhanced.

“But as you consider this with respect to the small-market teams, and you think about what a harder cap might do for them, and you consider what revenue sharing might do for them, there are sort of limits what the committee is thinking about, and the franchise tag is not one of them. Although a strong incentive for a player to stay with his team and the ability of the team to keep the player is there.’’

The NBA’s latest deal did not propose an NFL-style franchise tag, where a team can just take a player off the market and pay him the equivalent of the top five players at that position.

Rather, what the NBA is offering is more of a dramatic incentive for players to stay, much larger than exists now. It could be as much as $50 million over the life of a contract, but it would not be something the player would be forced to accept. But we are a long way away from knowing what that will formally look like.