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Jeremy Lin: Knicks Reportedly Extend Qualifying Offer to Linsanity

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 29:  Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks drives against Alonzo Gee #33 of the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden on February 29, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IJune 28, 2012

As expected, the New York Knicks made a qualifying offer to point guard Jeremy Lin, making Lin a restricted free agent.

HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy reported the news and this was the biggest no-brainer of the offseason as it's the first step to ensuring that he will remain with the team. The Knicks have said numerous times that they don't plan on letting him sign elsewhere.

In addition, the Knicks also extended a qualifying offer to guard Landry Fields.

Extending the qualifying offer to Lin allows New York to match all offers for the point guard. As a free agent, Lin can’t earn more than the average salary, which is roughly $5.2 million. The Knicks can pay him up to about $5.5 million if the union wins the NBA’s appeal of the “early-Bird” rights.

With the July 1 free agency period rapidly approaching, it's well known that the Knicks will look to lock up Lin with a long-term contract. Whether or not they'll have to use their mid-level exception though remains to be seen.

If the NBA loses it's appeal then the Knicks will have Lin's Bird rights and it won't be an issue at all.

Allowing Lin to walk wouldn't have just created a bigger hole than the Knicks already have at the point guard position, but would have created a huge P.R. disaster in the Big Apple as well, as Lin's popularity is through the roof.

Head coach Mike Woodson has faith in his young point guard, repeatedly calling him his starting point guard even though Lin is currently not under contract.

Whatever the future holds as it regards to Lin's Bird rights, New York took the proper steps to ensure that his basketball future will be in a Knicks uniform.

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