Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Jun 23 2012)

  • [New York Times] Jeremy Lin Granted Early-Bird Rights (Sat, 23 Jun 2012 05:42:19 GMT)

    An arbitrator has granted Jeremy Lin his so-called early-Bird rights, which would give the Knicks greater latitude when free agency begins July 1. The N.B.A. plans to appeal.

  • [New York Times] On Basketball: Heat’s Title Helps to Remove Tarnish (Sat, 23 Jun 2012 05:42:19 GMT)

    Perhaps the only way LeBron James can permanently keep the critics quiet is to just keep winning.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Must Absorb Loss After Dominating Run to Finals (Sat, 23 Jun 2012 05:54:05 GMT)

    A week after looking like the team to beat, the Thunder looked overwhelmed as the Heat capped their title run with a decisive win.

  • [New York Times] Spurs’ Tony Parker Sues Club Over Injuries From Brawl (Sat, 23 Jun 2012 05:48:03 GMT)

    Tony Parker, a point guard for the San Antonio Spurs, suffered a cut to his cornea during a fracas between the singer Chris Brown and the rapper Drake, according to the complaint.

  • [New York Times] Not as Easy as One-Two-Three for Miami Heat (Sat, 23 Jun 2012 00:57:02 GMT)

    The ‘Big Three’ of the Miami Heat won their first NBA titles together when they silenced the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games of the championship series, but the achievement was not as easy as one, two, three.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Miami Heat’s Game 5 Win in N.B.A. Finals Draws Top Audience of Series (Sat, 23 Jun 2012 03:09:58 GMT)

    Game 5 of the N.B.A. finals, which the Miami Heat won, 121-106, drew the most viewers of the series. Miami won the series, four games to one.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Emerson College Makes Splash in N.B.A. (Sat, 23 Jun 2012 03:09:10 GMT)

    With the naming this week of Rob Hennigan as the general manager of the Orlando Magic, Emerson now boasts two of the more powerful individuals in the league.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Who Is Uncle Drew? (Sat, 23 Jun 2012 04:56:37 GMT)

    The N.B.A. rookie of the year Kyrie Irving adopted an alter ego for a Pepsi commercial.

  • [New York Post] Stage set for Lin, Novak return but NBA will appeal (Sat, 23 Jun 2012 04:25:24 -0500)

    The union won and so did the Knicks.
    In a bonanza to their free-agent summer, Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak have been granted their “early-Bird rightsâ? by an arbitrator, giving the Knicks more financial flexibility this summer, allowing them use of their mid-level exception on a free agent.
    Arbitrator Kenneth…

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    Mike Kurylo

    Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

    16 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Jun 23 2012)”

    1. Man, tough to see LeBron raising the trophy, but have to give him credit, he exorcized all the demons. It was as easy of a playoff run as a team could have had; even OKC was a very talented but very young, undisciplined team. I wonder whether a Heat-Spurs finals would have been a better test. Still, you have to give the man his due. I saw role players step up the same way that they did for the great Bulls teams, especially Battier and Chalmers. That does not bode well for Eastern Conference teams for the next 3 years unless either Bosh or Wade break down. Also, Bosh quielty stepped up and proved his doubters wrong. When he went down with the abdominal strain, the Heat were definitely vulnerable.

    2. Re: Bird rights ruling, I’m still worried about the appeal. Is there any chance that the NBA and the NBPA sit down and work out a compromise to avoid the appeal process?

      If it holds, and we sign Lin and Novak, I still worry about our shooting guard spot. Until he proves otherwise, Fields is a huge offensive liability, unless he can become Battier over the summer, I hope we let him walk. I’m not a JR fan, he seems like he has zero b-ball IQ and needs a tailor-made situation for himself, not to mention the possibility of an off-court distraction erupting at any time. Hope Glen G can dig up someone out of nowhere, this European guy looks intriguing…

      Also hope that Novak works on his body and lateral quickness during the off-season. Maybe he can hook up with that trainer in NJ that added 4′ to Lin’s vertical during last off-season. There were times he looked like a decent rebounder, but most of the time he was feast or famine with the 3-pointer.

    3. There is always the possibility of a compromise. The two sides will definitely have to cooperate in order to get this decided before July 11 — when teams can sign free agents. I don’t think it is in either sides’ interest to have this unsettled when decisions have to be made.

    4. Once again, Jeffrey Kessler does a great job for the players and gets barely any mention. I didn’t think they had a shot and then he apparently made a great argument that turned out to be more or less the exact position that the arbitrator took in making his decision, and I’ve seen his name mentioned in, like, one article (a Business Week article, at that). Weird.

    5. Good point, Brian. In fact, thinking back, that was the sole cause for any optimism when the challenge was first raised.

    6. What, exactly, is the NBA’s issue here. Why do they care about this? Is it a “containment” strategy so that other aspects of the CBA aren’t challenged? It seems like a matter that Dtern has championed during his tenure: allowing teams to retain their own talent. Is there a “bigger picture” at play here?

    7. Z:
      What, exactly, is the NBA’s issue here. Why do they care about this? Is it a “containment” strategy so that other aspects of the CBA aren’t challenged? It seems like a matter that Dtern has championed during his tenure: allowing teams to retain their own talent. Is there a “bigger picture” at play here?

      From what Ive read its your first point, not wanting this to open up a can of worms and have other aspects of the CBA challenged.

      The NBPA used your point about how the new soft cap system is supposed to make it easier to hold on to your own players so as you said it makes no sense for the NBA to want to challenge this.

    8. I understand the complaint. This move gives teams another avenue to go over the luxury tax. The NBA wants to make it difficult to go over the luxury tax.

    9. Brian Cronin:
      I understand the complaint. This move gives teams another avenue to go over the luxury tax. The NBA wants to make it difficult to go over the luxury tax.

      I think Stern & The League tried to argue both sides of this issue during the lockout and in Stern’s recent interview. Stern said a “main issue” during the lockout was to make it harder for players (read: Lebron) to leave teams (read: Cleveland/Gilbert) so now a team can make an offer with much larger raises (7.5% vs. 4% or something like that) to a player on their respective team. So Lin and Novak were trying to stay with their team, and now Stern doesn’t want that team to go over the cap to sign players even though much of the lockout was to prevent player freedom/movement. Also, the arbiter (NOT “arbitrator”!) correctly realized that a waived player was denied a right (their “Bird Rights”) when they did nothing (they got waived). As a hardcore union guy, I am super pleased! Now we need Brian to post a REALISTIC vision of what this means. As near as I can tel this is it: Lin signs for about $5 mil per year, maybe 3 years. Novak 2 or 3 years at $3 mil JR has 2 avenues to stay, if he leaves, he leaves. Seems lime that leaves the Knicks with a $3 mil slot for somebody reasonably good. Nash, rumors say, has already been offered $20 mil for 2 years by Pho. Can’t imagine him coming. So what ONE other free agent is reasonable? All in all — awesome stuff — I think Knicks will be #2 seed next year in east (with a lot of luck).

    10. Fixed it for ya. ;)

      As everyone has noted, this basically means that the Knicks can go out and sign one pretty good player for $3 million. They can take a shot at Nash for $5 million (after dumping Toney) but that seems unlikely. There are tons of guys out there that can be had for $3 million. So many that I don’t know if it it even makes sense to put a list together yet. I do think that this means Fields is likely to return, since so long as the Knicks don’t use the MLE or the BAE then they can just use the mini-MLE and bring Lin, Fields and Novak back.

    11. Thanks Brian. Looks like things are gonna get messy with July 1 approaching and the appeal to be resolved. JR has to do something this week, if memory serves, wonder if he’ll take his option or opt out and try for a 2 or 3 yr deal with (I think) 20% raises permitted.

    12. It all depends on if he has MLE offers out there. If he does, it is a lot to ask for him to risk. And what if he gets an offer for more than the MLE (unlikely, but still)?

    13. If JR Smith does not exercise his option, the Knicks can resign him at 120% of last year’s salary for the first year, with 4.5% raises for additional years. So, $2.8 million for this year. If Smith signed a one year deal with a player option for next year, he could opt out after this year and use his Early Bird rights to get a multi-year deal at the league average (which is roughly the same as the MLE – $5.3 million).

      If I were advising Smith, I cannot see a good raise to exercise the option. If he does, he takes less than he could get from the Knicks (let alone on the market) and leaves himself at risk after this season. If he wants to stay with the Knicks, it makes more sense to negotiate a Non-Bird 120% contract and get a player option for next season. If the Knicks are not willing to do that, there will be a lot of teams who will offer at least the mini-MLE and some who will offer the MLE.

    14. I couldn’t agree more, BBA. I would think that the NBA would want teams to keep their players.

      There are three other angles:
      the diamond in the rough memes of Lin and Novak were great stories and inspiration, as well as great media for the league. You lose that when you prevent teams from keeping those players.

      Also, teams would have much less incentive to look for these “diamonds in the rough” off waivers unless they’re significantly below the cap. Think about it: either the player claimed from waivers doesn’t pan out or he does “too” good and the team can’t re-sign him. Players claimed off waivers would thus only be used for emergency/injury situations.

      Third, we should want well-run teams to be rewarded for making these types of calls. On Truehoop they’ve complained about the draft rewarding poorly-run teams. Even if we don’t change the draft, we should at least keep something that rewards well-run teams.

      The league shouldn’t want to create a situation in which Linsanity/Novakaine is either eliminated or ruined.

    15. One reason why the Knicks would not want to sign JR Smith to a 120% Non-Bird contract for one year plus a player option year is that it would provide JR Smith a no-trade clause. You cannot trade a player who is on a one year contract (ignoring option years) where he will gain Early Bird (or Full Bird) rights at the expiration of the contract without his consent. If the player consents, he loses his Early Bird rights when he is traded and becomes a Non-Bird free agent. On the other hand, if JR Smith exercises his player option, he can still be traded (and his Early Bird rights would travel with him).

    16. If they sign him, I’d imagine they wouldn’t want to trade him. JR Smith for less than $3 million is a major bargain, even if he plays just like he did this past season.

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