Knicks, Novak agree to four-year deal

07/09/2012 6:10 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
The Knicks may be in danger of losing “Linsanity,” but it appears as if they’ll have some “Novak-aine” to help ease that pain if it comes.

That’s because three-point sharpshooter Steve Novak, he of the clever play on words above coined by color commentator Walt “Clyde” Frazier, has agreed to a four-year deal worth $15 million to remain with the Knicks, according to agent Mark Bartelstein.

Novak, 29, played for five different teams in his first seven seasons, and was claimed by the Knicks off waivers from San Antonio last December. He went on to lead the NBA in three-point shooting at 47.2 percent, averaging 8.8 points in 54 games overall for the Knicks, and came to prominence around the same time as breakout teammate Jeremy Lin.

The contract can’t be officially signed until the NBA’s moratorium on free agent signings ends on Wednesday, but Bartlestein inferred that it was a direct result of the successful challenge by the players’ union led to Novak being able to claim his “Bird Rights” – a clause in the NBA CBA that allows teams to exceed the salary cap to re-sign their own free agents – and thanked NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and attorneys Ron Klempner and Jeff Kessler for winning that fight.

“Without us winning the arbitration case, it would have been almost impossible for them (the Knicks) to re-sign Steve,” Bartelstein said, “and this is where he wanted to be.”

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES comments