Marc Weinreich
Saturday June 23rd, 2012

The NBA announced on Friday that it will appeal an arbitrator's decision approving of Jeremy Lin's free agent status under the Early Bird Rights. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

An arbitrator ruled on Friday that Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin has been approved under the Early Bird Rights and can remain with the team, but now the league will appeal the decision, according to a tweet from Sean Deveney of Sporting News.

With free agency set to begin July 1, the appeal could mean that the Knicks won't know what the future holds for Lin as it prepares for next season.

Arbitrator Kenneth Dam had ruled Friday afternoon that even though the Knicks had picked up Lin off the waivers last season shortly after the Rockets announced they would part ways with the then-unknown point guard, New York would be able to retain him and sign him to a long-term contract. The NBA followed up on Friday afternoon, issuing a press release that said "The NBA will appeal the ruling."

Lin's teammate Steve Novak, along with Clippers point guard Chauncey Billups and J.J. Hickson of the Portland Trail Blazers were also approved under the Early Bird Rights, but will have to wait for the appeals process to run its course before they can sign with a team.

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