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Jeremy Lin Reportedly Granted Early Bird Rights, Helping Knicks In Free-Agent Process

Jeremy Lin

Knicks guard Jeremy Lin drives the lane against the Pacers at Madison Square Garden on March 16, 2012. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN) - An arbitrator has granted point guard Jeremy Lin his Early Bird Rights, according to The New York Times.

The decision will help give New York more latitude once the free-agency period kicks off on July 1st.

The arbitrator sided with the National Basketball Players Association on Friday, the newspaper reported.

The ruling means that New York will have the ability to re-sign both Lin and sharpshooter Steve Novak at a starting salary of $5 million, the New York Times confirmed. It also allows the Knicks to have the freedom to sign another free agent.

Lin has reportedly drawn interest from other teams already this offseason, and the Harvard alum recently hired new representation in anticipation of his entrance into the open market.

Lin was vital for New York this season, taking the basketball world by storm by coming out of virtually nowhere to average 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in just 26.9 minutes over 35 games.

Novak was also a pleasant surprise in his first season with the Knicks, garnering a reputation for his dynamic three-point shooting. The six-year NBA veteran averaged 8.8 points in 18.9 minutes over 54 games, shooting just over 47 percent from three-point range.

What kind of contract — years-wise and money-wise — would you give Jeremy Lin this offseason if you were the Knicks? Offer your thoughts and comments in the section below…