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Jeremy Lin a lock to return to the Knicks?

By Royce Young | NBA writer
Jeremy Lin will likely be back with the Knicks next season. (Getty Images)

Once the Knicks caught a break in Jeremy Lin's arbirtration case, it seemed like it was almost a guarantee that he would return. Instead of having to figure out how to squeeze Lin into a mid-level exception, the Knicks can now use "Early Bird Rights" to re-sign Lin and use the remaining exception on another free agent.

But again, the Knicks still have to want Lin back. To which they do, says head coach Mike Woodson.

"Absolutely he's going to be back," Woodson told the New York Post. "We like what he brings to the table. He's our starting point guard. He's a young point guard who's still learning, and he's going to be better. That's what happens to good, young players. If they work at their craft, they'll be much better for it. Absolutely, he wants to be here."

Via the paper, Woodson recently spent five days in California meeting with Lin, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler.

With the arbitration ruling though, it's still not entirely settled as the NBA is appealing the decision to take away Lin's Full Bird Rights. Lin is set to be a restricted free agent.

What's his market value though? How much money commands the crazy run he had during last season? Do the Knicks pay him like a star, or close to it? Does he get mid-level money? The Knicks obviously have never been scared to flirt with luxury tax payments and will probably do what it takes to secure Lin, but it'll be interesting to learn his value.

There's still the question about Steve Nash, who has expressed interest in playing for the Knicks. With the win in the arbirtration case, it helps the Knicks potentially target Nash and re-sign Lin, because Nash could be used with New York's remaining mid-level that they don't have to use on Lin.

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