If the NBPA is successful in its appeal to allow players claimed on waivers to retain their Bird rights, the Knicks will head into the offseason in much better position to keep their free agents. But either way, New York figures to make locking up Jeremy Lin a top priority this summer.
The Knicks won't be the only team looking to sign Lin though. According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, the Mavericks, Nets, Raptors, Trail Blazers, and Warriors are among the clubs eyeing the point guard.
Because Lin will be a restricted free agent that has played two years or less in the NBA, he'll be subject to the Gilbert Arenas provision. Rival teams will be able to offer Lin lucrative, back-loaded deals, but the Knicks will be able to match any offer sheet using their mid-level exception, since the first-year salary can't exceed $5MM.
We've heard the Raptors mentioned as a possible suitor for Lin, and the Mavs and Nets both make sense, depending on whether they miss out on Deron Williams. The Blazers also figure to have plenty of cap space and a need for a point guard, as I outlined earlier today. It's hard to imagine the Warriors being serious contenders for Lin, since they won't have cap room, and have a more glaring hole at small forward.