NBAPA Wins Bird Rights Appeal; Knicks Can Keep Lin and Target Nash

 @http://twitter.com/jtalty on June 22 2012 3:14 PM
Jeremy Lin
Basketball: New York Knicks Reuters

The New York Knicks won a huge victory on Friday afternoon when Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak were both awarded Early Bird Rights.

Many had expected the NBA Players Association to lose the case in arbitration for Lin and Novak, but stunningly got a decision in their favor. The Collective Bargaining Agreement stated that players cannot have Early Bird Rights if they have been waived, but the NBAPA fought the CBA and stated that players shouldn't be penalized for being waived.

The win means that the Knicks don't have to use their mid-level exception of up to $5 million on Lin or their $1.98 million exception on Novak. The Early Bird Rights means that the Knicks can exceed the salary cap in order to resign their own players, while still being able to use the exceptions.

Look for the Knicks to now target Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash with their mid-level exception. The Knicks would love to add a proven playmaker like Nash to their squad to help mentor Lin and Iman Shumpert, but there have been some recent rumors that Nash, who resides in New York City, isn't interested in joining the Knicks because he doesn't view them as a championship contender.

The Knicks could also be interested in adding Los Angeles Clippers guard Randy Foye, Dallas Mavericks forward Lamar Odom, or resigning guard J.R. Smith.

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