Originally written on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/17/14
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, ESPN New York reported Friday. Arbitrator Kenneth Dam affirmed that players claimed off waivers can retain their valuable Bird and early Bird rights when they become free agents. If Lin, Billups, Novak and Hickson re-sign, then their teams are allowed to exceed the salary cap. The Boston Celtics were the first team to use this exception, re-signing star forward Larry Bird to go over the cap. Lin, Novak, Billups and Hickson were waived this past season and claimed by other teams. They become free agents July 1. Also, future players claimed off waivers will benefit from Friday's ruling. The NBA plans to appeal the ruling. The players' association does not believe the appeal will be resolved by July 1, which starts the free agency period. Lin and Novak...
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