Jeremy Lin Will Be Part of Knicks' Future Regardless of Arbitration Decision
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, arbitrator Kenneth Dam will make a decision on the topic before July 1st—the first day of free agency.
Early Bird Rights allow teams to re-sign their own players without affecting the salary cap. The issue at hand is whether or a not a player claimed off waivers would lose his rights, as it previously stated in the rules.
With a union victory, the Knicks would be free to re-sign these two athletes as well other important role players despite being over the league's salary cap. Otherwise, the front office will have to start making decisions about which guys are worth keeping.
In reality, Novak is the one at risk. The veteran wing is a great three-point shooter but did not start a single game this season and is unlikely to be any more than a one-dimensional player in his career. He will definitely help some contender, but Lin is the more valuable of the two.
Last season, Jeremy Lin took a team that was struggling to find an identity and led them to seven straight victories. His out-of-nowhere success made him a media sensation that boosted ticket sales and merchandise. The team needed a person like Lin to wake up the fans and the rest of the roster.
Even with stars like Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, New York needed a point guard who could create for himself and others. Lin's 14.6 points and 6.2 assists per game helped the offense explode. Unfortunately, a meniscus tear ended the point guard's season.
Next year, the Knicks need his production to be contenders in a tough Eastern Conference. The squad had a lot of injuries in the 2011-2012 season, but a healthy team with more experience together can be dangerous.
General manager Glen Grunwald has a solid group of players at his disposal. If he can keep the core together, they can be contenders for the next few seasons.
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