The Knicks Win Arbitration Case, Commissioner David Stern Appeals Decision
Added by Stephen Zimkouski on June 24, 2012.
The recent arbitration ruling would allow Novak (R) and Lin to retain their Bird rights.
If you have been following New York Knicks basketball at all this offseason you’ve heard about the hot topic issue regarding some players’ contracts. The issue is in the form of an arbitration case that seems to have been going on longer than the playoffs regarding Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak bird rights.
The case was won by the Knicks and the NBA Players Association, which basically means that both Lin and Novak will receive their Bird rights even though they were waived by their previous club (Chauncey Billups and J.J. Hickson also received bird rights with the ruling as well). This ruling allows the Knicks to re-sign both Lin and Novak without their salaries counting against the salary cap.
This situation will free up the Knicks to use their mid-level exception, which is worth roughly $5 million dollars, on some other free agent(s). The importance of this is basically adding another key piece to the roster rather than using their mid-level exception on Lin and most likely losing Novak to free agency.
The Knicks are now awaiting J.R. Smith’s decision to see if he will activate his $2.44 million dollar player option for the 2012-13 season or if he will leave in free agency or re-sign for a higher price.
As indicated in the title of this piece, it is important to note that David Stern is appealing this decision in favor of the NBA and against those teams that have won the bird rights for their players. We should receive information on whether his appeal is successful around July 1st and the new rule will not be enacted. If the appeal fails and the Knicks win the arbitration case, there have been many players that have been named as possible fits for that mid-level exception contract.
The Knicks have a glaring weakness in point guard depth and some names that have been mentioned are; Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Andre Miller, Ramon Sessions, Jameer Nelson, Louis Williams and recent Knickerbocker Raymond Felton. At the shooting guard position some sources have named Ray Allen as a possible fit. They also lack playmakers off the bench especially if J.R. Smith leaves.
It will be interesting to see where the Knicks go with their mid-level exception and also if the appeal is successful how they can try and make their team better with only veteran minimums. The Knicks will now play the waiting game for the next week hoping that they get the ruling in their favor, again.