Jeremy Lin: Star Point Guard Must Sign with Knicks
Knicks General Manager Glen Grunwald wants to retain his celebrity point guard. It would be unwise of Lin to deny Grunwald's offer.
Lin scored 14.6 points and grabbed 6.2 assists in 35 games this year. He missed 22 games with a knee injury including five first-round playoff games.
He led the Knicks on a second-half surge that landed them in the NBA Playoffs, and the Knicks want to reward their restricted free agent with a new deal. Other teams will come calling, perhaps the Lakers or the Bulls.
But Grunwald is intent on keeping Lin under Madison Square Garden's bright lights for the foreseeable future.
The Knicks will offer Lin money and security for the next few years, but it is the invisible factors that make Grunwald's deal tough to turn down.
Let's look at what Lin should see the lines on his new contract.
The Knicks already showed their appreciation for their new head coach Mike Woodson, giving him a multi-year extension on Friday. Grunwald and the Knicks front office are going to reward success with financial security.
Not every NBA franchise is so willing to do that.
Should Jeremy Lin sign with the Knicks?
Lin could go sign elsewhere for above-average money and play with a different supporting cast. Maybe playing without Carmelo Anthony every night would increase his development.
But Lin will not be appreciated elsewhere like he is in New York.
Lin achieved celebrity status in the largest media market the United States has to offer. He could go to Los Angeles and join a similar sized market, but who says they worship Lin the way MSG regulars have come to.
Grunwald publicly claiming his intent to sign Lin should make the star point guard swell with pride. He will not find that attitude anywhere else, at least not yet.
Is Lin a Long-Term Answer?
If Lin proves to be a fluke this will be the best contract he sees for a very long time. He must realize that he caught lightning in a bottle, and ride it out.
Lin's stats would have looked different if he had played in the 22 games he missed due to injury.
Maybe he would have scored fewer points if he had played with Anthony more, or maybe he would have improved with each night of explosive pick-and-rolls with Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.
We will never know that.
What we do know is Lin rode a white-hot streak to a cult-like following. He was among the hottest names in one of the largest cities in the world.
The Knicks are willing to match offers put to Lin by other teams after just 35 games of steady play. He has to take that, and cash in.
He may gradually improve every year, or he may not. A step back on the court would land Lin far short of this much attention.
The money and attention is there. Lin must grab it while its hot.
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