Lin, Novak retain 'Early Bird' rights

The NBA and the players' association have reached a settlement that clarifies some rights that Jeremy Lin and three other players have entering free agency.

The rule will now be that players who are claimed from waivers will have the same "Early Bird" rights as if they had been traded, but will not have full "Bird" rights unless they are claimed through the league's amnesty procedure.

That helps the New York Knicks' chances of keeping Lin, their breakout point guard, and Steve Novak, who led the league in 3-point shooting percentage last season. The Knicks will be able to sign both without being restricted by the salary cap.

Chauncey Billups and J.J. Hickson are the other players who could benefit when free agency opens Sunday. All four had been waived this season and claimed by other teams.

Click here for the complete story.