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.