NBA Free-Agency Rumors: Why New York Knicks Are Better Off Without Jeremy Lin
It was almost a month ago when New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson was asked on ESPN New York's The Michael Kay Show if Jeremy Lin would be the Knicks' starting point guard for the 2012-13 season. Woodson's answer to that question was, "Without a doubt."
Per ESPNNewYork.com, Woodson said:
"You welcome him back [regarding Lin's injury] with open arms when he gets healthy, and you keep it moving. That's what we're going to do when we get him signed. We'll get him back into uniform and get him ready for practice and throw the ball in his hands and say, 'Let's go.'"
That sounded great a month ago, but now that free agency has started and the Knicks haven't offered Lin a contract yet, it's starting to look like Lin might be a starting point guard elsewhere in the NBA.
With Lin scheduled to visit with the Houston Rockets (per ESPN's Chris Broussard), it's clear that Lin isn't banking on Woodson's comments this past June.
It looks like he's ready to take his talents elsewhere if the Knicks aren't ready to put a value on him and commit to him long term.
That might be exactly what the Knicks need, though.
While Lin helped the Knicks emerge from the depths of the Eastern Conference last season, after the hype surrounding him died down, it was evident that he had a major flaw in his game that hurt more than his production—it hurt the overall success of his team.
Would the New York Knicks be better off without Jeremy Lin as their starting point guard?
That major flaw in Lin's game is his inability to protect the ball. This past season, in just 35 games, Lin averaged the fourth-most turnovers of any point guard, with an average of 3.6 turnovers per game.
That number might not seem like a lot, but Lin's proneness to turnovers cost the Knicks a number of games, and it certainly held them back last year.
If Lin averaged 20 points or put up 10 assists per game, those turnovers wouldn't mean nearly as much, but after the hype around him died down, he became a fairly pedestrian point guard.
That's not necessarily a bad thing, as Lin could fit into a number of teams' rotations. But for the Knicks, he's not the point guard that they need running their offense.
With offensive talent like Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, the Knicks need a player at the point whose game is defined by one word—efficiency.
That's not the player Lin is right now, and that's most likely the reason why the Knicks have yet to offer him a contract.
The Knicks know that there's a possibility they could overpay Lin this offseason, and that's something they not only don't want to do, it's something that they absolutely can't afford to do.
The Knicks proved they can be competitive without Lin, winning 12 of their final 17 games without him, and that's why they want to make sure that they don't end up paying too much for a player who's more hype than he is value.
Lin gave the Knicks something to believe in last year when all hope seemed to be lost. While that was great, it's not something that they desperately need right now.
The Knicks have a head coach in Mike Woodson who is capable of handling the superstar personalities of Amar'e and 'Melo and knows how to bring them together as a team centered on winning.
What the Knicks need isn't something to believe in. They need to find chemistry with the talent on their roster, and Lin doesn't have to be a part of that.
With talented and more efficient point guards still available like Steve Nash, Jason Kidd and Goran Dragic, the Knicks are smart to hold off on Lin.
The Knicks' future success isn't centered on bringing Lin back, and the team's front office knows that.
The Knicks' success is centered on building a team around Amar'e and 'Melo that can compete, and they can certainly do that without Lin.
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