With Nash off the table, Deron Williams re-signing with the Knicks' new metropolitan neighbor in Brooklyn and Jason Kidd hanging in limbo, Linsanity commands the spotlight once again.
Lin captured New York's hearts last season after catapulting them into the playoffs, but he's now tugging at their heart strings. As a restricted free agent, it appears that other teams around the NBA are trying to bottle up some Linsanity of their own. The team most notably pursuing the talents of Jeremy Lin happens to be the club that waived him last season, the Houston Rockets.
Lin visited Houston on Tuesday, and sources are saying that they are talking about a four-year deal that is heavily back-loaded. As ESPN reports, the first two years of the deal are around $5 million each and the third and fourth years are in the neighborhood of $10 million a season. Fortunately, the Knicks do have the opportunity to match any offer made to Lin since he is a restricted free agent, and they will have until the July 14th deadline to do so.
“I think the guard position is something that we have to address,” Grunwald said, via The New York Times. “Hopefully, we do that with our own free agents.”
I think that most New Yorkers would agree with Mr. Grunwald's sentiments. The fact is that the team was better with him than without him last season, and if the Knicks need to match the Rockets' offer to ensure that they remains a contender every season, then let it be done. It's not like the Knicks haven't paid the luxury tax before, and that will pale in comparison to the price of letting the talented Lin slip away.
The Knicks cannot revert back to the Isiah Thomas days of just plugging in flashy name players who don't know each other and hope that they gel. If they don't lock up Jeremy Lin for the next four years, that is the exact situation that they'll be facing.
Picture your dream car…Got it? Now picture owning that car but not being able to drive it because you don't have the right gas. Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Iman Shumpert are that dream car, and Jeremy Lin is premium unleaded.
The Knicks need to understand that they have the power and control to lock up a proven 23-year-old point guard who fits the dynamic of New York's team and culture.