Knicks Will Have to Wait for Ruling on Jeremy Lin Bird Rights Case

Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIJune 13, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 21: Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks lays up a shot over Elton Brand #42 of the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 21, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Knicks won 82-79. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

New York Knicks fans will have to wait a couple more weeks before a decision is made regarding Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak's Bird Rights.

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.

Novak was claimed by the Knicks off waivers on December 21 and signed for the veteran minimum. Lin was picked up off waivers on December 27.

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.