Beck: Arbitrator Grants Full Bird-Rights For J.J. Hickson
By caseyholdahl Posted in: j.j.hickson
Howard Beck of the New York Times is reporting the arbitration regarding whether players who are claimed off waivers retain Bird rights has been settled
. And from the sound of it, it's good news for the Trail Blazers, at least if they want to re-sign J.J. Hickson.
The ruling means that both Lin and Steve Novak of the Knicks will be
able to re-sign with the team without respect to the salary cap, for a
starting salary around $5 million each. Just as critically, it means
that the Knicks will not need to use their midlevel exception to sign
either player, which will allow them to use that slot for another free
The ruling — which applies to any player who was claimed off waivers —
also affects Chauncey Billups of the Los Angeles Clippers and J. J.
Hickson of the Portland Trail Blazers. Billups and Hickson will now have
full Bird rights, allowing them to re-sign with their teams for any
amount up to the maximum salary.
So as I understand it, the Trail Blazers can now go over the salary cap to re-sign Hickson, should they choose to do so. The practical application is the Trail Blazers can re-sign Hickson without eating up any cap space that could be used for bringing in new free agents. It's basically the same scenario that the team finds themselves in with Nicolas Batum. Good news.
Here's what the NBA has to say about the decision:
The NBA announced today that a decision has been issued in the recent arbitration proceeding brought by the Players Association on behalf of Jeremy Lin, Steve Novak, Chauncey Billups, and J.J. Hickson. In that decision, arbitrator Kenneth Dam ruled that players who are claimed off of waivers have the same "Bird" or "Early Bird" rights that they would have if they were traded.
The NBA will appeal the ruling.