UPDATE: Thursday, June 14 at 8:39 a.m. EST
A ruling on Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak's Bird Rights is expected to be released before July 1, which is when both would be eligible to become free agents, according to New York Post's Marc Berman.
The NBA Players Association, the NBA and an arbitrator all met today, hoping to reach a decision on whether or not waived players should retain their Early Bird Rights and Bird Rights once they are picked up by another team.
After the meeting was out, Novak shed some light on the issue:
I can't thank Jeffrey Kessler and @TheNBPA enough for all the work they have put into this Birds Rights case. A decision in about 2 weeks.— Steve Novak (@stevenovak20) June 13, 2012
If the arbitrator rules in favor of the players' association, the Knicks will be granted the financial flexibility to pay Lin and Novak a maximum of $5.5 million each to retain their services next season.
But wait, there's more. The prospective salary paid to the duo won't count towards the salary cap, which would afford GM Glen Grunwald the ability to use the mid-level exception and the bi-annual exception on other free agent acquisitions.
The imminent decision has huge implications for the Knicks in terms of which players will be on the roster next season.
If the players' union loses the case, the team will most likely be forced to use the mid-level exception to re-sign Lin this offseason. That would probably lead to the departure of role players like Novak and J.R. Smith.
In all likelihood, Lin will be back in Madison Square Garden next season because he is a restricted free agent, meaning that the Knicks can match any offer that another team extends to the 23-year-old point guard.
But the jury is still out on Novak, who is a unrestricted free agent.
Stay tuned for more news.
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