NBA Settles “Bird” Rights Issue for Waived Players

The NBA has settled its dispute with the Players Association over the rights of waived players. The compromise is that players waived under traditional methods can gain “Early Bird” rights (their team being allowed to resign them for up to the average NBA salary) but not “Bird” rights (being able to resign them for more than the average salary). However, players waived under the amnesty provision will be able to obtain Bird rights. So Chauncey Billups and JJ Hickson will have full Bird rights with their current teams (which is great news for the Blazers, who were likely going to lose Hickson otherwise) while Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak will have Early Bird rights with the Knicks, which is fine, as neither player could get any more than Early Bird rights anyways (as both are on two year deals).

So this is great news! The longshot paid off! And now the Knicks can resign Lin, resign Novak, resign Fields, resign JR Smith (if he will come back for the $2.8 million salary), resign Jeffries for the vet minimum and still go out and spend $3 million on a good back-up point guard for Lin.

Congrats to the Knicks!

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One thought to “NBA Settles “Bird” Rights Issue for Waived Players”

  1. As I wrote in last night’s thread, I have never been so happy to be wrong about the Knicks’ prospects in this arbitration. Major credit goes to Mark Bartlestein (Novak’s agent) and Jeffrey Kessler (NBPA attorney) who were the driving forces in making the winning argument.

    Absent this ruling, the Knicks would have had to use the MLE to resign Lin, would have had no chance to resign Novak, would have operated under a $74 million hard cap this season, probably would have had to let Fields walk away and probably could not have replaced injured players on roster.

    Can’t wait for the season to start. Go Knicks!

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