Friday, July 6, 2012
Jeremy Lin Inks Offer Sheet With Rockets. Will Knicks Match?
As the Knicks agreed upon a contract with Jason Kidd and continued to explore the various other ways to improve the roster, the inevitable happened. After celebrating Independence Day in Houston as he met with the Rockets, Yahoo! Sports reports Jeremy Lin will ink an offer sheet worth $28.8 million over four years.
Though there were rumors that Lin was gunning for even more money than an earlier reported $31 million offer, the young phenomenon will instead make $5.2 million in the first two years of the contract, and $9.3 million in each of the latter ones.
The Knicks have vowed from the get go they plan on matching any offer to Lin. Despite signing Kidd yesterday, New York did so with the thought that the Hall of Fame bound guard would help frame Lin into the floor general of the future.
While Lin obviously used "Linsanity's" outbreak to propel himself to a nice payday, is he really worth that type of money? Based on all that he provides the Knicks in profits and popularity, some may say without a doubt. However, it's difficult to gauge what his contributions will be on the hardwood over the four year period. The fact is Lin's sample size (limited by lack of an opportunity and a later knee injury) is so small that the Knicks can't be sure what type of production they'll get.
With Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire both out of the lineup, Lin took off like a rocket (no pun intended) as he carried the Knicks on his back to a string of victories. That said, with a healthier lineup intact, Lin's contributions not only began to fall off, but he appeared a bit confused on the court here and there as well.
Why make such a commitment to a single player when you're not really certain what you'll get from him moving forward? A smaller/shorter pact would have been much more beneficial, but with Lin looking to cash in, that obviously wasn't an option for the Knicks. Perhaps the team could have reached out to reason with him a bit, but instead, they allowed Lin and the team's opponents to set the market for him.
Will New York bite the bullet that will place them in the luxury tax during the two latter years of Lin's contract (offer) from the Rockets? All indications say yes, but with a quality player like Kidd already in the fold, the team certainly has another option.
Should the Knicks feel as though the Rockets' poison pill is ultimately too tough to swallow, G.M. Glen Grunwald could get on the phone with two teams---Houston and the Portland Trailblazers. Grunwald could strut his stuff, proving to Rockets' brass he holds the power.
If New York surprises the league by not opting to bring Lin back, perhaps they could somehow work out a sign & trade in which Lin flocks to Houston, Raymond Felton comes back to New York, and the Blazers acquire some sort of trade exception.
If you're curious about how valuable a trade exception can be, just ask the Lakers how they enjoyed being able to acquire Steve Nash just a couple days ago.