Lin’s potential signing of a Rockets offer sheet will make it extremely costly to bring back the overnight sensation. But the Knicks are at the point where James Dolan must bow down to Linsanity and keep him at all costs.
A $30 million plus contract for a guy that has 25 starts under his belt, well, that re-defines the definition of Linsanity.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, multiple sources said the Knicks will match any Lin offer sheet, but unpredictable owner James Dolan has the final say and frets about luxury-tax implications.
Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald has said repeatedly he will match any offer, but that offer would put the Knicks in a very bad spot with the luxury tax.
Just considering the possibilities in three years of Lin, Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler all earning over $10 million a season, the Knicks will be over the luxury tax with just four players on their roster.
Grunwald also didn’t make Lin an offer at the start of free agency. Had he offered Lin the maximum, four years, $23 million in the Early-Bird exception, this situation could potentially be over by now.
But now the Knicks are in a bad spot.
After striking out on Nash, the Knicks can't afford to say no to whatever Lin wants.
Especially if the attitude is a win-now one. They have to take their chances on Lin becoming a quality NBA point guard, even if he's way overpaid.
Dolan is in a worse spot.
Looking forward, it makes little sense to jeopardize the future to overpay Lin, but Dolan's never been accused of being smart.
Just the public relations disaster alone will haunt Dolan, much less the money lost on jersey sales, endorsements, etc.
It will be too costly to allow him to walk. Dolan created this situation by throwing $100 million at Stoudemire, then acquiring Anthony and signing Chandler. There just isn't room for four big contracts.
Yet the losses if Lin leaves could be even greater than the profits by keeping him.
Dolan has no choice at all.
He has to match Lin's offer and figure out how to avoid the luxury tax in a couple of years.
That also means the Knicks window to win a championship will be much smaller, so Dolan needs to do whatever it takes, even if that means bowing down to Linsanity.