Players claimed off waivers this season got a big win on Friday, the New York Times reports. The players’ union won its case against the NBA to give players off waivers their Early Bird Rights — that is, allowing them to re-sign with their last teams without regard to the salary cap. It’s a big win for the New York Knicks with both Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak being affected.
Arbitrator Kenneth Dam made the decision, and the NYT reported Lin and Novak will be able to re-sign for at least $5 million and up to the maximum salary. Other players it will benefit are Portland’s J.J. Hickson and the Clippers’ Chauncey Billups.
Bird Rights, under the newest Collective Bargaining Agreement, are usually reserved for players who have played a previous three seasons with the same team. There are several exceptions to the rule and one involves players claimed on waivers before clearing waivers. In that case, and the case of Lin, a player’s Bird Rights are reset. This ruling appears to be a change to that exception.
Which player benefits most?
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