NBA Plans to Appeal Bird Rights Ruling
In a surprise ruling on Friday, New York Knicks’ Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chauncey Billups and Portland Trail Blazers’ J.J. Hickson secured Bird and early Bird rights in a hearing between the NBA Players Association and the league.
The decision was made by arbitrator Kenneth Dam, who affirmed that players claimed off waivers are able to retain their valuable Bird and early Bird rights when they become free agents. That means that if Lin, Billups, Novak and Hickson re-sign, their teams can go over the salary cap. The Celtics were the first team to use this exception, re-signing former star Larry Bird to go over the cap.
All four players were waived this season and claimed by other teams. They will become free agents July 1.
In addition, future players claimed off waivers likewise will benefit from Friday’s ruling.
The NBA said it would appeal Friday’s ruling.