Steve Nash to LA Makes Jeremy Lin a Necessity in New York

Nick FarnsworthAnalyst IJuly 5, 2012

Jeremy Lin is the Key to the Knicks Future
Jeremy Lin is the Key to the Knicks FutureMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The New York Knicks have found themselves in the position to get worse this year after free agency, as all of their plans seem to be unraveling in front of them.

The Knicks had decided to figure out Jeremy Lin's value by what he could make on the market, and were hoping to land one of the best assisting point guards in the league in Steve Nash. However it is looking more and more likely that they may not only lose out on both of the free agent point guards they needed, but will lose even more pieces that made the team relatively successful last year. 

According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Phoenix Suns have agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers that will send Steve Nash to L.A. in exchange for multiple draft picks.

Stein reports that the Knicks were the other major player hoping to land Nash in a sign-and-trade in order to have a veteran point guard that could have facilitated the unique offensive skill sets of Anthony, Stoudemire and Chandler into a smooth running machine. 

The pursuit of Nash may end up costing New York more than just missing out on the perennial All-Star point guard.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that in an attempt to stop the Knicks from completing a sign-and-trade with Nash, Toronto has agreed to a three-year, $19 million contract with Landry Fields.

Fields was rumored to be one of the key pieces being offered to the Suns; however, Toronto agreeing to a backloaded deal will make the Knicks likely to pass on the young and promising restricted free agent shooting guard. 

Finally, Berman also reported that Jeremy Lin was not offered an extension at the start of free agency that could have locked him up at a reasonable price, in an attempt to let the market determine his value and possibly for NY to pursue Nash more heavily.

ESPN reports that the Rockets are set to offer Lin a four-year, $30 million backloaded contract that would push the Knicks into serious luxury tax issues in the final years of the deal if they were to match.

The Knicks were likely to let Lin walk if his contract were to push them towards the luxury tax and they were able to attain Steve Nash. However, with Nash heading elsewhere, they may not have a choice in bringing back Lin. 

Without Jeremy Lin, the Knicks are left with no starting point guard, and the options that they have in free agency are not very attractive.

New York is even thinner in the backcourt with the loss of Iman Shumpert to injury for most of the season and the possible signing of Landry Fields that would send him to Toronto, leaving the Knicks with Toney Douglas as the best option at shooting guard currently on the roster.

Although the Knicks are adverse to going over the luxury tax, they may need to match any offer given to Jeremy Lin in order to avoid greatly taking steps back from their goal of a championship. 

Bringing back Jeremy Lin will greatly increase New York's ability to be competitive in the East. However, in three years, the Knicks will likely have four players taking the entire luxury tax cap. This may lead to the necessity of moving one of the large contracts of Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire or Tyson Chandler in the near future.

Jeremy Lin is essentially an absolute necessity to keep the Knicks competitive next season, as well as helping to keep the future of the New York team bright. The New York Knicks will likely have to match any offer Lin receives in the remainder of free agency, and it appears the worse case scenario of the team's free agency may have actually become a reality.