The Rockets have spent Thursday negotiating the new Jeremy Lin contract with the New York Knicks. How nice of them to free up Glen Grunwald to chase down Jason Kidd.
As expected, after a day of talks Houston and GM Daryl Morey have reached an agreement on a three-year offer sheet (with a team option for the fourth year) that they will give to Jeremy Lin on July 11, according to multiple reports. The money is $5 million the first year and $5.2 million in year two (the most he can make those seasons under the CBA), then a “poison pill” of $9.3 million in years three and four, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network.
The Knicks are going to swallow that pill without blinking.
Every source in the Western hemisphere has said since before any offer sheet was finalized that the Knicks would match an offer. As a source told Marc Stein of ESPN, they would match an offer up to $1 billion. (Say that last sentence again in your Dr. Evil voice.) Those final years are a luxury tax burden on the Knicks — they will have $77 million on the books for three years from now when the new, stiffer tax penalties are in place — and they will pay it. (Which will be tax money that flows down to the Rockets.)
The fact is that while this deal is overpaying for the nice but not thrilling (at least outside the Mike D’Antoni offensive system) you get from Lin, it pales in comparison to what he brings in financially from ticket sales, sponsorships, merchandise sales and the rest. Lin is a hot commodity and the Knicks will pay to keep him.
But at least they didn’t have to spend the man-hours negotiating the contract.
Meanwhile, the Rockets keep swinging for the fences and striking out. Which is still better than the rut they were in, stuck in the NBA’s middle ground.