So basically Billy Hunter is really stupid!
The rule about a player losing their Bird Rights if they are claimed off waivers (and Free Agents who switch teams, like if Tyson Chandler only signed a 1 year deal his Bird Rights would be gone too) is written in plain English
There is no way around it!
Lin will be back
But will Novak sign for the league minimum?
Is a player who truly only has one skill worth more than a league minimum?
The Knicks could sign him for the league min. next year, which then means we own his Bird Rights next year....but that is a huge risk for Novak