Jeremy Lin: Why Nothing Will Separate Knicks PG from New York
Lin was waived by the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets prior to this season and eventually landed with the Knicks. He catapulted into the NBA spotlight in February after scoring 25 points off the bench for the struggling Knicks. He would start the next game and score at least 20 points while dishing out seven or more assists in his first five starts.
He then became the full-time starter at point guard and helped the team secure a playoff spot, before missing the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
Lin’s unexpected success and Taiwanese-American background led to an internet sensation that became known as “Linsanty.”
He was both popular and productive with the Knicks, and New York is the right place for him to maximize his success.
Several variables will affect Lin’s decision to stay with the team, including an upcoming ruling over whether or not New York can claim Early Bird Rights on Lin’s deal.
Bird Rights are one of the exceptions that teams can use to exceed the salary cap. Under the rule, a team can go over the cap to re-sign one of its own players.
According the Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com, the NBA and the NBA Players’ Association are debating whether or not waived players can retain their bird rights after being picked up by another team, and a decision will be made before the start of free agency on July 1.
If the ruling is in favor of the NBA and Lin is not allowed Early Bird Rights, then the Knicks will have to use their mid-level exception to sign Lin. This would limit the team’s ability to bring in other quality players to help the team.
Should Jeremy Lin re-sign with the Knicks?
Regardless of the ruling, the Knicks must bring back Lin. He is the team’s most popular player and he is a quality starting point guard.
He finished the year with an average of 14.6 points and 6.2 assists per game. With a full offseason as the starting point guard and a full season to mesh with the rest of the Knicks, his assists will go up.
The Knicks have plenty of scorers, but need a point guard to keep the offense balanced.
Lin’s value off the court is likely exceeded by his value off the court. According to Greg Hardy of ESPN.com, Lin had the second-best selling jersey this season.
For Lin, he can maximize his value in the country’s biggest market.
Lin needs the Knicks and the team definitely needs its point guard. Regardless of what happens with the NBA ruling, New York must re-sign him.
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