The Knicks are able to make this signing happen because an arbitrator ruled that they own Novak's early Bird-rights, permitting owner James Dolan to exceed the salary cap in pursuit of him.
The instant reaction from many was to laugh or scoff at another Dolan overpay. I disagree, though I can certainly sympathize with the inclination to make fun of him. This is a reasonable deal, especially in a universe where Jeff Green of the Celtics gets $36 million to do...what, exactly?
At least Novak may be the best open three-point shooter in all of basketball. Charles Barkley calls him as much, for what it's worth. Last year, Novak torched the twine to the tune of 47.2 percent on threes. Since he shot five per game, this amounted to a nutty 73.7 percent true shooting percentage. Not bad for a role player who cleared waivers in 2011.
Considering how Dolan probably lights his cigars with $100 bills, this was not an immense expense for the Knicks. In fact, credit them for being restrained. Novak's still just 29 years old and should hold his value.
If he delivers anything close to last year's performance, this contract is a bargain.
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