Like seemingly all things in this latest Jeremy Lin odyssey, nothing is complete until the deadline is past. Up until then nothing should surprise us.
But it looks more and more like Lin will be a Rocket next year. Multiple outlets are reporting the Knicks are leaning toward (or some say flat out) not matching the three-year, $25 million offer sheet Houston signed the young point guard to. The Knicks have until Tuesday night to make their call. Here is what Howard Beck of the New York Times wrote.
A person with knowledge of the Knicks’ deliberations said it was “more likely than not” that the team would decline to match the offer. The same person cautioned, however, that “it’s not definitive….”
Lin himself told associates that he believed Raymond Felton was acquired to replace him. Yet even Lin is not sure what the Knicks will do, those associates said. He has been told nothing directly by team officials. And no one in the Knicks’ hierarchy is talking, leaving fans to speculate and fret.
Lin remains incredibly popular among Knicks fans and the idea of letting him walk and getting nothing in return in terms of a trade upsets a lot of Knicks fans. There is even an online petition asking the Knicks management to re-sign Lin. He is a global marketing phenomenon that sells jerseys and helps with sponsors.
But at that price tag the Knicks are making the right call — on the court he is a guy that has not proven over a length of time he’s ready to be an NBA starter.
The fact is Lin will make $14.8 million in the third year of his deal and that is way more than he is worth on the court (he would make $5 million and $5.2 million the first two years). That number was put there to give the Knicks pause because of the tax implications in that third year — the more punitive NBA luxury tax will have kicked in by then. Lin is going to be expensive. It’s not that Raymond Felton is vastly superior, he’s just vastly more affordable.
The Knicks are not a franchise that in the past has balked at spending money on questionable deals, but this time it appears to be different.
However, like all things Knicks, we won’t really know until the deadline is here. There is always drama.