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So maybe Jeremy Lin isn’t a total lock to return to Knicks


It’s been the conventional wisdom around the league that Jeremy Lin would return to Knicks. They can match the $5 million any team could offer him next season and he is worth considerably more than that, somewhat on the court but more in terms of ticket sales, sponsors and marketing. He’s a steal at that price.

But with the Knicks having long-term salary cap concerns, there is one way a team could pry Lin away from the Knicks, reports Chris Broussard at ESPN.

While both Lin and the Knicks are hoping for a reunion, sources say that if any clubs offer Lin, a restricted free agent, a backloaded contract that pays him an eight-figure salary in the third and fourth years, the Knicks could be given pause about matching the offer.

The Knicks, like a lot of big market teams, are frightened of the escalating tax that kicks in fully in a couple years. If you are going to pay a guy a lot after that, he had better be worth it.

Those are called “poison pill” offers and a tea like Toronto could consider it. But do you really want to pay Lin — a good point guard that excelled for a short stretch in Mike D’Antoni’s point-guard friendly system but has yet to prove he can do it consistently otherwise — in excess of $10 million a year in three years?

Hard to see any team taking that gamble. But if the Raptors or another team get desperate enough they might put some kind of pill in that third or fourth year. If for no other reason than to hurt the Knicks.

Dwight Howard played through torn MCL and meniscus in playoffs

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard hasn’t exactly been healthy in recent years. He missed half of last season with various injuries, including a two-month stretch from January to March after undergoing a knee procedure. On Thursday, he told a Houston radio station that the knee problems continued after that, and he had torn ligaments and cartilage during the Rockets’ Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors:

It’s a little alarming that we didn’t hear about this until now. Sometimes these injuries can heal without surgery, but Howard can become a free agent next summer, so you would think he would want to get any lingering issues addressed ahead of time. Considering his age (he’ll be 30 in December) and his injury history, this isn’t a great sign. A healthy Howard is the difference between the Rockets being a legitimate title contender and an als0-ran, so hopefully these problems are behind him and he can stay healthy this season.

Report: Trevor Booker suspended one game for Hibbert altercation

Trevor Booker
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On Tuesday night, Jazz big man Trevor Booker was ejected from a preseason game against the Lakers for taking a swing at Roy Hibbert during a scrap.

Now, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Booker will be suspended one game for the hit, meaning he’ll miss the Jazz’ October 28 season opener against the Pistons:

Considering he was already ejected, a one-game suspension seems about right.