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May 17, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Jared Zwerling

Jay (NYC)

Jared - Huge Knicks fan here, so I obviously want this bird rights claim to work. Can you please give the real low down on it? What exactly does the CBA define bird rights as? If, as I've been led to believe, it simply says bird rights (or early birds) go with a player to his new team when that player is TRADED, how is an arbitrator going to rule for the PA and say that also means bird rights go with a player when that player is waived and claimed by a new team?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:03 PM)

Early Bird Rights basically allows teams to exceed the cap to re-sign their own free agents. For the Knicks, that would be Landry Fields as currently constituted. With Lin right now, he has to sign for the mid-level exception, which would go against the Knicks' cap. Basically, the Knicks want Early Bird Rights for Lin and Novak, so they can re-sign them without going against their cap. Therefore, they'd have an extra MLE to sign someone for up to $5 million, and they would probably like to use that on Steve Nash.

Javier (NY)

% chance that the union wins its case on early bird rights, allowing the Knicks to resign Lin/Novak without using the MLE?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:03 PM)

A source familiar with the situation tells me less than 50 percent. The union said the league notified it previously that none of the players in the case (Lin, Novak, Chauncey Billups and J.J. Hickson) will be able to sign utilizing Bird rights.

Ian (Atl, GA)

I notice that you are all for Nash over Lin. Are you sure that Melo's ISO game will mesh with Nash?? Nash also wasn't a superstar in Dallas, he became one in D'Antoni's system which will not be run in NY next year. At least Lin can still learn how to play off the ball more while Nash needs the ball in his hands and that will hurt Melo's rhythm like we saw last season!!

Jared Zwerling
  (12:05 PM)

We've seen Carmelo and Amare already respect and play well with a veteran point guard consistently. That point guard was Chauncey Billups. And Steve Nash will demand that respect from those guys, and the rest of the team. Look at how Rajon Rondo has helped Paul Pierce's game in Boston, and Pierce is in his mid-30s. If Melo is smart, he'll realize how helpful Nash will be. I really see Nash helping him and them getting along on the court. Melo should get much easier looks.

VGR (NYC)

Was it you that gave Shumpert a first place vote in the Rookie of the Year voting?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:05 PM)

I didn't vote.

Javier (NY)

Are the Big 3 allowed to take pay cuts or defer $ to let the team chase Nash, resign Novak, etc? Would they? They don't need the $, and besides, if they win a championship, the enhanced personal brand value will more than make up the difference...

Jared Zwerling
  (12:06 PM)

From what I understand, a player in a three-year deal could restructure, but he would have to get a new four-year deal. But definitely not a max-level guy, like Amare, Tyson or Carmelo.

Deven (New York)

Hi Jared. To start off the chat, what's next for the Knicks now that their season is over?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:09 PM)

I would say in this order: Woodson or Jackson (most likely Woodson), seeing if the union can get Early Bird Rights for Lin and Novak (unlikely), weighing if J.R. Smith will opt in or out, figuring out how to re-sign Lin and Novak (and Smith too), trying to get Steve Nash if the union wins, analyzing Jared Jeffries' health situation and possibly re-signing him to a veteran's minimum and then signing a shooting guard to a veteran's minimum (due to Shumpert's absence until December or January). A few candidates, to me, who are unrestricted free agents include: Ray Allen, Mickael Pietrus, Anthony Parker and Grant Hill, who was already close to re-signing with the Knicks this past season. And if Nash comes, you better believe Hill will want to come to New York, too.

Deven (New York)

Should Steve Nash come to the Knicks, even though D'Antoni isn't the coach anymore? Thoughts?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:13 PM)

Well, I think the fact that D'Antoni is no longer here presents a question mark. Nash has been accustomed to playing for coaches who focused on spread pick-and-rolls (also Alvin Gentry). Woodson has preferred to run his offense through the point forward (Joe Johnson and Carmelo Anthony) in isolation situations, but if Nash wants to come to NY, Woody will have to re-consider how he runs the offense, no question. You need to let Nash do this thing out there and create easier shots for Melo, Amare, etc. Woodson was using some of D'Antoni's offensive schemes after he resigned, and he'll need to continue to do that a bit more if Nash comes -- even with Lin on the court as well. Beyond the coaching situation, the fact that Amare is in NY -- he and Nash played together in Phoenix -- could entice Nash to want to come. I can assure you that Amare is calling him right now to recruit him lol ... Of course, the Knicks need that union settlement to go in their favor.

John (The Jersey Shore)

Why hasn't a call to Phil been made? Phil would be worthwhile just for the lure he has with free agents. Not to mention he's the greatest coach of all time. Phil needs to be priority 1 and Lamar needs to be brought in on a Vet's Minimum contract and that is where a winning mentality would begin.

Jared Zwerling
  (12:14 PM)

Agreed, and I can assure you that at least a call has been made. I just don't have confirmation on that, but the Knicks should definitely do it, for the reasons you mentioned (and more). I just think that the Knicks are pretty much already settled on Woodson and the players want him back.

Haris (Sarajevo, Bosnia )

Any movement on Novak and Lin? What do you expect from that situation?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:15 PM)

No movement yet. As I said, it's less than 50 percent from happening. It'll probably take about a month for it to be officially settled.

Tony (Michigan)

The Knicks are gonna win the title next year. Right?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:17 PM)

No. The Heat, Thunder, Spurs or Mavs. The Mavs could could sign Nash, by the way. They have significant cap space and he and Dirk could be reunited. They could also sign Deron Williams. The Mavs will rebound very well next season.

JB (NYC)

When is the league going to rule on the bird rights of Novak and Lin?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:18 PM)

Up to month it will take I was told.

Alex (Anaheim)

Who are the most likely players for the Knicks to draft?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:21 PM)

I would say a Jeremy Evans type -- a tall, long, athletic forward who can play D, grab rebounds and score around the rim on inside feeds and putbacks; basically, a younger version of Jared Jeffries. Jeffries at full health won't always be guaranteed during the season. The Knicks should also look at an athletic three who can come off the bench in place of Melo and facilitate some playmaking and scoring, including 3-point shooting. Jeffries actually thinks this is what the Knicks need the most, but it won't come from free agency with the few dollars they have to spend. Perhaps they'll get a steal in the second round.

Kris (New Jersey)

Good day Jared. Love the chats. Fact or Fiction: Steve Nash signing with the Knicks this summer would make them instant contenders in the east.

Jared Zwerling
  (12:24 PM)

With Derrick Rose out for potentially a full season, I would honestly put the Knicks as a favorite to lock up the second seed. I really do. Nash, Fields/Shumpert/FA (?), Melo, Amare and Tyson, with Lin, Novak, Smith and Jeffries coming off the bench -- not bad at all! The Heat, to me, are still the beasts in the East, and will be for the next four years, barring that LeBron and D-Wade stay healthy and keep playing at a high level.

Ned (NY)

Jared, NY Gets D. Lee and Biedrins, GSW gets Amare and Shump. Who says no?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:27 PM)

Not happening. First of all, Shump is out until December/January, and Amare has a hefty contract and he has two uninsured knees and an uninsured eye (based on previous injuries). Forget it. But keep in mind: Amare could come back looking great next season. He's still only 30. Why count him out, especially if Nash and/or Lin is in NY full-time? And Shumpert has a lot of potential. Hopefully he gets healthy again. The Knicks love him, and you should, too.

Kelsey (Miami )

How much cap space of flexibility to sign players do the Knicks have. Please tell me Lin stays on this side of the the river

Jared Zwerling
  (12:28 PM)

Read this story I wrote on Monday -- http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/19565/the-knicks-summer-spending. It explains mostly everything.

Deven (New York)

What does the team lack right now and hope to get in this year's upcoming draft? Strengths and Weaknesses?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:28 PM)

Just responded to a similar question a few minutes ago. If you have a follow-up question, let me know.

Al(nj) [via mobile]

Is it possible to try to trade amare to nets for d-will,i mean there gonna loose him anyway,why not trade star for star,and I think we should go for nash over lin,more experience

Jared Zwerling
  (12:34 PM)

The Knicks' salary cap situation could be problematic for any trades. It all goes back to that mid-level exception. If the Knicks use more than $3 million of it, they'll enter a hard-cap situation and only have about $7.5 million to spend in free agency -- and that's it. And that includes any amount they'll bring in from a trade. A direct swap (Amare for D-Will) would likely be fine, but both teams wouldn't do that. It would likely come down to a blockbuster move with three teams total involved. But I just don't see that happening, because of Amare's contract and uninsured factors and D-Will being a free agent. Plus, consider the Nets' interest in a young star. They don't see that in Amare.

Chives (NYC)

Does the Union have a real shot at winning the bird right arbitration? What does that mean for the Knicks? Can they keep everyone?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:35 PM)

Less than 50 percent of them winning. If it passes, they could retain Lin and Novak and then use their full mid-level exception of $5 million on another player. They could also re-sign Smith. Keep in mind, however, that $3 million or more of the mid-level exception would still restrict them against the cap. They won't have unlimited money to spend in free agency and couldn't take on trades that go above their cap.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What will be the Changes for the Knicks for the 2012-2013 Season?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:38 PM)

Get better. With Derrick Rose out for potentially a full season, the Knicks should climb to the third or even second seed. If you're a Knicks fan, you should expect them in the Eastern Conference finals next season going up against the Heat.

Jared Zwerling
  (12:46 PM)

Thanks for your time guys. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me on Twitter @JaredZwerling ... Talk soon!