One key piece that I think a lot of Knick fans fail to realize is the Collective Bargaining Agreement in the NBA expires on June 30th. We’ve already begun to see how labor uncertainty is impacting the NFL and prospective free agents. The owners have been demanding larger revenue shares with numerous modifications to the current agreement. In the NBA, there have been rumblings that the owners want to institute a franchise tag similar to the one used by the NFL. A franchise tag is device that a team can use to retain a player who is set to hit free agency. The team promises to pay that player 120% of his prior year salary for one season only.

If the owners get their wish and the Nuggets do not trade Carmelo Anthony before Thursday, they can slap the franchise tag on him for 2012. This fact alone gives the Nuggets a lot of leverage in their negotiations with any prospective Carmelo suitor. Granted, it won’t be a huge benefit for the Nuggets to keep a disgruntled Carmelo in Denver for another season, but it also proves that they shouldn’t accept less than a king’s ransom for him.

The Knicks have less than 96 hours to make a deal before labor uncertainty has the final say on Carmelo’s future.