Jeremy Lin Rumors: Latest Updates on Free-Agent Point Guard

Josh BenjaminCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20:  Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks looks on against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden on March 20, 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 Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

The Knicks are expected to be an active player this offseason, and re-signing breakout point guard Jeremy Lin should be one of their first orders of business. However, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, GM Glen Grunwald plans to let Lin dangle for a bit just so his value can be set.

This approach could prove to be disastrous, as ESPN's Chris Broussard has reported that the Toronto Raptors are very high on the Harvard grad and could offer him a deal that the Knicks might be hesitant to match.

While the Knicks can technically offer Lin a four-year deal worth $24.5 million, Toronto can offer a deal in the range of four years and $40 million. The Knicks can match any offer made to Lin, but they could be hesitant to do so for a number that high.

Be sure to keep it here, as we will be providing all of the latest rumors on the free-agent Linsanity.

BREAKING NEWS: Wednesday, July 18, 12:00 a.m. -- Maxwell Ogden

As the clock strikes midnight, the New York Knicks have not matched the Houston Rockets' offer sheet. Jeremy Lin is officially a member of the Houston Rockets.

BREAKING NEWS: Tuesday, July 17, 10:43 p.m. -- Maxwell Ogden

The moment of confirmation will come in approximately one hour, but Ian Begley of ESPN New York has news right now.

According to Begley, the New York Knicks have confirmed that they will not match the Houston Rockets' offer to Jeremy Lin. This would have Lin Houston bound and set to become a member of the Rockets.

#Knicks confirm they are not matching Houston's offer to Jeremy Lin. Lin will be a Rocket.

— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 18, 2012

While we won't have true confirmation for another hour or so, Begley is a reliable source. The end of Linsanity in New York could be upon us.

-- Report via B/R's Free Agent Tracker

BREAKING NEWS: Tuesday, July 17 -- Joel C. Cordes

It comes as only a slight surprise, after plenty of reports claiming that this would happen, but it appears as if the New York Knicks really are walking away from Jeremy Lin.

According to Howard Beck of the New York Times, the Rockets are being allowed to heist Lin away:

Posting momentarily to Lin will be a Rocket. Knicks deliberations over.

— Howard Beck (@HowardBeckNYT) July 17, 2012

Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd will now be the point guards for the Knicks, while Lin becomes the first major free agent the Rockets have landed all offseason.

- Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Offseason Free Agent tracker.

- End of Update - 

Update: Monday, July 16 — Ethan Norof

We know that the Knicks will probably take their sweet time in making a decision on Lin's future with the team, and despite reports that the club has all but decided to let the point guard walk, his future with the club remains uncertain.

Howard Beck of The New York Times reported (via a source) that it was "more likely than not" that the club will let him walk, but there is nothing set in stone there. The same person told Beck that letting Lin go was "not definitive."

Although there is some mystery clouding New York's plans, it looks increasingly unlikely that the team will bring him back. Beck writes that Lin's salary in the third year of his new deal could cost the Knicks between $35 million and $45 million in tax payments alone.

A "confidant" of Lin's told the New York Post that Lin wants to return to the Knicks, but the decision is now out of his hands.


Update: Sunday July 15 at 11:30am by John Rozum

Well folks, Linsanity appears that is has come to an end in the Big Apple. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post:

In a stunning turn of events in the past 24 hours, the Knicks agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Trail Blazers to obtain former Knicks point guard Raymond Felton that all but ends the Jeremy Lin era prematurely and bitterly, according to league sources.

One NBA source insisted the Knicks, with Felton’s addition, will not match Lin’s new, ramped-up $25 million offer sheet from the Rockets.

On the bright side, Raymond Felton is a reliable point man who averaged 17.1 points and nine assists per game with the Knicks through 54 starts during the 2010-11 season. As for Lin, the Houston Rockets provide an excellent opportunity for him to develop.

The downside is that Houston has nowhere near the talent of New York, therefore you can expect Felton to hit the ground running. And as long as the Knicks do win, the Big Apple won't care who's running the point at Madison Square Garden.


Update: Saturday, July 14 -- Maxwell Ogden

The New York Knicks may just be the most unpredictable franchise in all of professional sports. Allow July 14th, 2012 to be the latest chapter of their unexpected decision-making.

Jeremy Lin appears close to being a Houston Rocket with Raymond Felton to NY deal close to being done, sources tell Y!

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 15, 2012

While we cannot label this decision one way or another until we've seen the on-court production, it would certainly be a shocking turn of events for the Knicks to let Linsanity walk. All signs point towards the buzz dying down and the Knicks looking for a new direction with an old face.


Update: Friday, July 13 -- Maxwell Ogden

Per a report via Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday, Jeremy Lin will have a destination within the next three days. Whether that will be Houston or New York has yet to be decided.

Jeremy Lin has officially signed his offer sheet with the Rockets. The Knicks will have three days to match it.

— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) July 13, 2012

The pressure is on for both teams involved. The Houston Rockets have lost both Goran Dragic and Kyle Lowry, thus leaving them in a position in which missing out on a third point guard could be fatal.


The New York Knicks, meanwhile, are well-aware of Jeremy Lin's value and must retain him or look to Jason Kidd as their best bet.

Update: Thursday, July 12 -- Joel C. Cordes

The New York Knicks have made it clear for awhile now that they plan on matching Jeremy Lin's offer from the Houston Rockets. While they have yet to officially do so, here's further proof of their intentions via head coach Mike Woodson:

Woodson said Lin would be the Knicks starting point guard next season.

— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) July 11, 2012

Update: Saturday, July 7 — Joel C. Cordes


Though Jeremy Lin has agreed to his four-year deal from the Houston Rockets, the New York Knicks will break the bank to retain their cash cow.

Though his body of work is incredibly small, Lin was the story of the 2012 Knicks' season and one of their only players with positive press down the stretch. 

Lin's clutch ability and facilitating skills were on clear display prior to his injury. Yet, the Knicks are shelling out a lot of money for a kid who's coming back from a knee problem, has only started 25 games for them and who had a huge turnover issue already. 

Still, the Knicks will pay the cash to chance rebooting Linsanity in 2013. They did take out a reasonable insurance policy by also bringing veteran Jason Kidd aboard.

Once more, the Rockets are left holding the bag after taking a big gamble. Having lost Goran Dragic and Kyle Lowry, Houston must figure out what their point guard Plan D is now that Jeremy Lin isn't their's either.


Update: Thursday, July 5 at 8:22 PM EDT — Maxwell Ogden

The Houston Rockets have made a ground-shaking decision to trade Kyle Lowry to the Toronto Raptors. This move is expected to make room for Lin to join their franchise and lead the team into battle. As a result, David Aldridge of reports that the global star has signed an offer sheet with those very Houston Rockets.


Source confirms Rockets have committed a 4 yr, $30M sheet to NYK guard Jeremy Lin. NY will have 3 days to match when moratorium ends next wk

— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 5, 2012



Unfortunately for the Rockets, it's not believed that they'll walk away with Lin's services. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports breaks it down in sarcastic terms that we all can understand. He also crushes the hearts of every Rockets fan who had hoped to see Lin in their uniform.


To be clear: The Rockets spent all day negotiating Jeremy Lin's new deal with the Knicks. How nice of them.

— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) July 5, 2012

What Helin was getting at is that the New York Knicks will match any offer. They clearly feel that Lin is their franchise point guard and are ready to support him in whatever financial way they must. Marc Stein of confirmed that.

Source with knowledge of Knicks' thinking: "They will match any offer on Lin up to 1 billion dollars"

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 5, 2012


Jeremy Lin appears to be heading back to New York.


Update: Thursday, July 5 at 5:53 PM EDT — Maxwell Ogden

Just when we thought Jeremy Lin was a humble kid who was thrilled to simply be apart of the NBA, we found out how much of a business this league really is. According to Alan Hahn of MSG's Network, Lin's looking for the big bucks.



RT @Ian_OConnor: Jeremy Lin wants more $ than reported $31M offer from Houston, according to league source. #Knicks facing a hefty match

— Alan Hahn (@alanhahn) July 5, 2012




The question, at this point, is simple: does Jeremy Lin deserve this much money? Considering how much Lin made the Knicks in merchandise sales, one could argue yes. Unfortunately, Linsanity has died and the 23-year-old is now going to be judged based off of his play in an 82 game season.


Should he fail to lead the Knicks to a postseason run, he'd likely be labeled a bust. The same can be said for any other team he potentially signs with.

So what do they do? Will the New York Knicks match the offer and pay Lin that type of money under their Early Bird Rights? Or will they let him walk? After paying Jason Kidd a solid amount to come in at 39, the team may opt with a lesser name with equal upside.

Update: Thursday, July 5 — Ethan Norof

The Jeremy Lin sweepstakes are officially heating up.


After the Houston Rockets had been contemplating making an offer for Lin, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that the club has offered a multi-year deal to the restricted free agent.


As Wojnarowski writes, the Knicks have said that the team plans to match any offer for Lin, but it may not be such an easy decision depending on how Houston structured the exact parameters of the deal.


Houston general manager Daryl Morey is going to make things difficult for the Knicks, as Wojnarowski writes that Lin's offer from the Rockets includes a good amount of backloaded money.





Houston's multi-year offer to Jeremy Lin includes back-loaded money designed to hit the Knicks hard on luxury tax, source tells Y!

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 5, 2012

Marc Berman of the New York Post has reported that Lin's offer from the Rockets is for four years and $31 million.

Berman notes that it is a "poison pill" contract that will offer Lin north of $10 million in the final two seasons.


As it's been widely speculated, the Knicks also intend to match any offer that Lin receives on the open market, according to Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy.


After missing on Steve Nash, sources close to the situation say it's very likely the Knicks will match any offer that Jeremy Lin receives.

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 5, 2012




Not exactly groundbreaking news, but it doesn't sound like the Knicks are prepared to let "Linsanity" leave the Broadway stage.

Update: Wednesday, July 4 — Ethan Norof

Lin is drawing a ton of interest on the market now that Deron Williams has decided to remain with the Brooklyn Nets.


Beat writer Jonathan Feigen reports that the Rockets will offer Lin a similar deal to the one that was offered to Goran Dragic.


The Rockets will offer a deal similar to the contract Dragic turned down, source said.

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 3, 2012





However, the Rockets aren't the only interested team. Marc Stein of ESPN reports that the Dallas Mavericks will pursue Lin as well as unrestricted free agent Steve Nash.


But will Lin even make it to Dallas for a visit? Not if the Rockets have their way.

Lin is visiting the Rockets on Wednesday, and the team is reportedly prepared to offer him a four-year deal worth approximately $30 million, according to the New York Post. The deal is expected to have a "poison pill" clause, meaning Lin's salary would spike in years three and four of the deal.


If Lin and the Rockets agree to a deal, the Knicks will have the right to match the offer.

UPDATE 3: Tuesday, July 3 -- Joel C. Cordes

The Houston Rockets aren't making any friends this offseason. They're attempting to poach yet another restricted free agent away from a cap-strapped contender by using a "poison pill" contract loaded at the back end.


ESPN's Chris Broussard is reporting that Jeremy Lin will visit the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. As noted in the updates below, this turn of events is both sudden and unexpected for.


After otherwise appearing off the free agency radar, Lin was most recently linked to the Toronto Raptors and their signing of Landry Fields away from the New York Knicks.



While this deal was presumably to strong-arm an opening for Steve Nash to Canada, it was also a reasonable set-up move for acquiring Lin as a consolation prize.

As Bleacher Report's Ryan Rudnansky writes, Houston's dalliance in this dance is certainly curious: they're already dealing with a disgruntled Kyle Lowry and free agent Goran Dragic as their point guard options.

Are the Rockets serious about acquiring Lin, or are they and the Raptors simply trying to drive up player prices for the rest of the league? We'll keep you updated.

UPDATE 2: Tuesday July 3 -- Joel C. Cordes


ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that the Toronto Raptors have made a serious offer to New York Knicks shooting guard, Landry Fields.

The reported three-year, $20 million deal, complete with "poison-pill" salary increase in the final season, seems curious considering Fields' regression during his sophomore year.

However, Landry may just be a pawn in a much larger game of chess being played by Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo. By making this huge offer, he's forcing the Knicks to match it or risk losing one of their few young, cheap assets.





Now the Knicks MUST re-sign Fields if they were to include him for a sign-and-trade to the Phoenix Suns for Steve Nash. It never appeared as if the Suns were seriously considering such a deal with New York, but this takes that option right off the table.


What's more, if Nash somehow doesn't come to Toronto, the Raptors will have landed one of Jeremy Lin's closest teammates. This potentially opens the door for a similar ploy they're attempting with the Knicks' point guard.

The Knicks suddenly find themselves in a lose-lose situation. If they re-sign Fields, they could lose Lin while still missing out on Nash. If they let Landry walk, then they are devoid of trade options for Steve Nash whatsoever. 

As Bruce Arthur of the National Post put it:

It's all about Nash. This is Bryan Colangelo throwing everything he's got to get one guy. All-in.

— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) July 3, 2012


- Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Steve Nash Offseason Tracker.


Update: Tuesday, July 3 -- Joel C. Cordes

Though Jeremy Lin has yet to openly pursue free agency options other than the New York Knicks, it appears he's on plenty of other teams' radars.


As Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld writes, Lin is beginning to receive phone calls from potential suitors, gauging his interest in playing outside of the Big Apple. While Lin is a Restricted Free Agent, and thus thought to be untouchable with the Knicks able to match any offer, there is a loophole.



Similar to what the Houston Rockets have attempted to pull with the Chicago Bull's Omer Asik, an outside offer could be seriously back-loaded. While the Knicks would still be able to match and keep Lin, such a contract could balloon from $5 million per year during the first two seasons up to as high as $15 over the final pair of years.

It's highly unlikely a suitor would go that high at the end of the deal, yet the Rockets DID offer Asik over $14 million for the final year of his contract. Either way, any massive increase on the back-end of a Lin signing would push the New York Knicks over the luxury tax cliff.

For a team that's already spending $50 million dollars over the next four years on Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler alone, losing a yet-to-be sure thing like Lin might be an unpopular financial necessity.


Brooklyn Nets Like Lin as Consolation Prize



David Aldridge of is reporting that the rival Brooklyn Nets have not reached out to Lin, according to a source "directly involved in the negotiations" involving star point guard Deron Williams. Should Williams sign elsewhere, the Nets' fallback option is Steve Nash.


Even if the Nets did make an offer to Lin, my instincts tell me that the Knicks would match it in a heartbeat. As flaky as New York's front office has been, letting one of the team's better players go to a division rival would not look good. 



Knicks Confident of Jeremy Lin's Return


Last week, Marc Berman of the New York Post spoke with Knicks head coach Mike Woodson and discussed Lin. According to Woodson, Lin will "absolutely" return to the team and really wants to, for that matter.


More importantly, there are three giant reasons that Knicks management shouldn't let Lin walk under any circumstances: money, money and more money.

Remember when he first burst on the scene for the Knicks?  The city exploded and immediately embraced him, a feeling that later became known as "Linsanity." Hell, I even jumped on the bandwagon and have a Linsanity pennant in my apartment.


Long story short, there's no way that the Knicks are going to let the honeymoon end so quickly.  Lin is a marketing gold mine and given how the team went 18-6 under Mike Woodson with the Harvard grad as the starting point guard, there is so much money to be lost (and games too, for that matter) if Glen Grunwald does allow him to sign with another team and not match offers under any circumstance.



Knicks Search for Other Point Guard Options?

Yesterday, Marc Stein of ESPN tweeted that the Knicks may already be preparing for life without Lin. Last night, the team apparently met with All-Star point guard Steve Nash. The future Hall of Famer is definitely someone who could help the Knicks, but he's way out of their price range unless he's willing to play on a major discount.

More importantly, Nash also met with the Toronto Raptors yesterday, a team that wants the Canadian point guard badly.

That all being said, it's interesting how the Knicks are just twiddling their thumbs while Lin can be back on their team on a silver platter.


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