The New York Knicks have a few important members of their roster that they need to worry about re-signing this offseason, but fortunately Jeremy Lin isn’t one of them.
Lin will be the starting point guard for the Knicks for the next few seasons, whether he likes it or not.
As an undrafted rookie entering his third season in the league, Lin will become a restricted free agent. This means if he accepts an offer with another team, the Knicks have the right to match it and still retain Lin for next season.
Usually, you can’t be too sure whether the original team will be willing to match any offer. This is especially the case for a player like Jeremy Lin, who is rumored to receive offers from numerous teams, including the Raptors, Mavericks, Trail Blazers, Warriors and Nets.
However, due to a rule in the new CBA known as the “Gilbert Arenas Provision,” no team can offer Lin more than $5 million next season and $5.2 million the following season. These are very reasonable figures for a starting point guard of Lin’s caliber, which the Knicks will certainly be willing to match.
Things get a little trickier after the first two years of the new deal, but it's still nothing the Knicks should be too worried about.
In order to convince Lin to leave NY, team’s may try and offer him a back-loaded deal that would pay him as much as $25 million over the final two seasons of his contract. This sounds like a deal Lin wouldn’t be able to pass up on, but he understands this would cripple his own team and that’s not the kind of player or person Lin is.
When asked about returning to the Knicks next season, this is what Lin had to say about his time in New York so far (via the New York Post):
I’m definitely comfortable here. I love playing in New York. I love the fans. They gave me the chance. They believed in me. That’s why I’m here today. I owe a lot to this organization.
By working with the Knicks to come up with a solution that suits both him and the team, Jeremy Lin can earn much more popularity and money outside of basketball than he can anywhere else.
Any Harvard graduate should easily be able to see this, which is why the Knicks should not worry at all that Lin will re-sign and start for this team for the next few seasons.