Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Knicks Extend Qualifying Offers to Jeremy Lin & Landry Fields
With July 1st and the NBA's free agency period steadily approaching, Newsday's Al Iannazone reports that the Knicks have extended qualifying offers to both Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields.
It's well known that the Knicks will look to lock up with a long-term contract. Whether or not they'll have to use their Midlevel Exception (or instead own "Bird Rights) to do so remains to be seen.
Lin, who will turn 24 this summer, showed great potential as "Linsanity" engulfed the entire NBA nation this season. Building up chemistry with the likes of Fields, Steve Novak, and even Amar'e Stoudemire, he proved that he easily can elevate the play of his teammates on a nightly basis.
The young guard's ability to penetrate to the basket and evade defenders makes him a multi-talented player for New York. That said, while he thrives with the ball (whether he takes it to the hole or distributes it effectively), Lin will have to continue working towards an on the court understanding with Carmelo Anthony. The pair being able able to develop an on the court balance of one another's skills will be crucial to the Knicks' success.
But Coach Mike Woodson and the front office seem to have faith that Lin can be the team's point guard for the foreseeable future. Fields' role/place on the team is, however, another story. Has the Stanford product become expendable with the likes of Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith stepping up in big ways this past season?
Of course, Fields is an intangibles guy and serves as a key cog in the Knicks' engine because he does all of the gritty, little things. He's certainly a good piece of the puzzle, but determining his value on the free agent market may prove to be more difficult because his production (or lack there of, at times) may not solely represent how much he's really worth.
Because of this, while New York may aim to strike the iron while it's hot and retain Lin, they can also afford to take their time with Fields. Now that they've extended the qualifying offer, he represents a decent asset. The team can now explore different avenues in regard to Fields as they examine his value both as a free agent or as a trade asset.