Jeremy Lin: Best Replacements If New York Knicks Don't Keep Star PG
The sentiments coming out of Lin's camp have been anything but reassuring (via ESPN New York's Ian Begley):
"I don't expect that. We're not anticipating that's going to happen. We don't have assurances of anything," Lin's agent, Roger Montgomery, said in an interview with the New York Post. "I know history shows most restricted free agents go back to their team, but I'm not going to assume anything. We're waiting to see what happens."
Regardless of what happens with the Early Bird Rights hearings associated with players claimed off of waivers, Lin's status as a restricted free agent should, in theory, help New York retain him one way or the other.
Of course, nothing is guaranteed.
As absurd as it may seem for this organization to start caring about how much money it spends, the NBA is entering a more cost-conscious era. Chances are the Knicks will stomach whatever the bill comes out to.
But, if they don't, the Knicks will need to use cap exceptions to acquire a replacement. Here are some of the more affordable options on the market.
Brooks may be one of the better point guards available, but whether he'll be affordable is another question. He might take a deal for a mid-level exception, but he could be looking for something closer to $7 million a year.
As ridiculous as that sounds, remember that Brooks was making quite a name for himself before his stint in China.
He might not be a great fit for NYC anyway given his shoot-first instincts.
After spending some time with the Atlanta Hawks, the 31-year-old is a bit past his prime, but he's still a solid perimeter shooter and above-average on-ball defender.
The Knicks would probably prefer to have more of a play-making distributor. Still, there's a good chance Hinrich would be relatively inexpensive, and his experience certainly wouldn't hurt.
Miller may be 36 years old, but he's still got a lot of game left in him. He remains an exceptional passer, and his unconventional mid-range game still makes him an effective scorer from time to time.
Making a run at Miller might make some sense given NYC's need for a pass-first guy. It might make some sense for Miller, too, given that he's played with Carmelo Anthony and might see the Knicks as a team with some title potential.
Yes, he'd be quite a step down from Jeremy Lin, but let's face it: if the Knicks lose Lin, just about anyone they can afford will be a step down.
Fisher really can't run a team by himself these days, but he could potentially help out if Iman Shumpert starts spending more time at the point guard spot.
It sounds like Billups wants to make a return, but he might not take to kindly to a NYC return after the franchise cut him to make room for the acquisition of Tyson Chandler. Still, if hurt feelings (and torn Achilles) can be fully repaired, the sharpshooting 35-year-old would be a nice fit.
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