What the NBAPA’s Bird Rights Dispute Means for Jeremy Lin and the Knicks

May 15th, 2012 by Nilkanth Patel Leave a reply »
In fantastic bit of reporting, Howard Beck of the New York Times broke the news regarding the NBA Players Association's recent attempt at better defining the terms surrounding Bird Rights and NBA Players.

His analysis was quick to note that it matters a great deal for the Knicks and their developing negotiations with Jeremy Lin.

Let's take a brief tangent and use the information available on Wikipedia to break down what exactly the Bird Rights entail: named after Larry Legend, the Bird Rights were created to allow teams to re-sign their star veterans with maximum contracts (the "maximum" is a predetermined figure based on a player's number of years in the league) even if doing so puts them over the salary cap.

It was developed to help teams retain their stars, and therefore remain marketable franchises.

The Bird Rights only apply for players who have been playing for either the same team, or the same contract for three years. This means that in order for them to apply, a player must not have ever signed a new contract with a new team for three consecutive years.

The loophole is this: when a player is traded, his Bird ...

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