NBA Rumors: Top Destinations for Jeremy Lin If He Spurns Knicks

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NBA Rumors: Top Destinations for Jeremy Lin If He Spurns Knicks
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

New York Knicks fans got to breathe a bit of fresh air last week when the NBA dropped their appeal, granting waived players like Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak their Bird rights.

However ESPN's Chris Broussard put an end to the celebration when he reported that the Knicks likely will lose Lin if a team gives the point guard a heavy backloaded contract offer. Broussard wrote:

While both Lin and the Knicks are hoping for a reunion, sources say that if any clubs offer Lin, a restricted free agent, a backloaded contract that pays him an eight-figure salary in the third and fourth years, the Knicks could be given pause about matching the offer.

With the new collective bargaining agreement employing a more punitive luxury tax, beginning in the 2013-14 season, the Knicks are extremely concerned about the financial ramifications of such a deal.


The Knicks can offer Lin a four-year deal worth $24.5 million. But an opposing team can offer Lin a backloaded deal that could go as high as $40 million over four years. Such a contract would pay Lin $5 million in each of the first two years and then go as high as $15 million in each of the last two years.

Matching a contract like that would give the Knicks four players—Lin, Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler—making more than $14 million in the 2014-2015 season.

Those four players alone would have a combined salary of $72 million, nearly $2 million above the luxury tax.

If that's the case, the Knicks would have to allow Lin to walk. If he does, here's a look at his top potential suitors.

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