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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 19:  (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS OUT) Jeremy Lin #17 and Steve Novak #16 of the New York Knicks celebrate during a game against the Dallas Mavericks on February 19, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. 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 Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak, upon hearing today's news.

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Jeremy Lin Has Been Granted His Early-Bird Rights, and That’s Great News for the Knicks

Last month, Seth suggested that Knicks fans mark down June 13 on their calendars, for that was the date of the arbitration hearing regarding the Bird rights of waived players. And because both Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak would be affected by that decision, the Knicks' off-season would be greatly impacted by the outcome. Anyway, today that ruling came down, and it was a total win for the Players Association, which means it was also a total win for the Knicks.

Today's ruling means that Lin, as well as Novak, will be able to re-sign with the Knicks without respect for the salary cap. Furthermore, because they now won't need to use their midlevel exception to sign either of those players, the Knicks can take that money and use it to improve their roster in other ways. Had the arbitrator sided with the NBA and neither player was granted his so-called early-Bird rights, the Knicks would have had to use their exception money on Lin, which would have left them little room to maneuver otherwise.

The NBA has already announced it will appeal the ruling, but still: Today is a good day for the Knicks. Perhaps not "day after winning a championship good," but good nonetheless.

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Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty