Jeremy Lin: New York Knicks Have No Choice but to Match Houston Rockets' Offer
According to the New York Post, the Houston Rockets have enticed Jeremy Lin with a big four-year, $30 million, back-loaded contract that would not only pay him, but put him among some of the highest-paid players in the league by the time the final two years of his contract came through.
Back-loading the offer like that may not seem like a huge deal, but if the Knicks were to match that offer, they would have four players making eight figures by the time the 2014-15 season came along, which would tear apart their salary cap and send them hurtling toward the luxury tax line.
However, at this point the Knicks have no choice but to retain Jeremy Lin; there's no other option for them.
Steve Nash ended up getting traded to the Lakers, Goran Dragic signed a deal with the Suns, Kyle Lowry was traded to Toronto, Jason Kidd signed with the Knicks but more so as a back-up, Andre Miller is returning to the Nuggets and the same with Jameer Nelson and the Magic (via NBA.com).
Basically, that leaves Jeremy Lin, Raymond Felton and Ramon Sessions, only one of whom made a noticeable impact on their team last season.
There's a huge drop-off from Lin to the rest of the free-agent point guards, and unless the Knicks want to suffer through a season of criticism for not re-signing Lin, they'd best put him back in orange and blue.
For one, there's no other player on the free-agent market that could bring the television ratings, jersey and ticket sales quite like Jeremy Lin could. He's so marketable that they'll make up the entirety of his salary from advertising revenue and ticket sales in the first year alone.
However, all of that earning power leaves once the team starts losing, right? Absolutely, but is there any other point guard who can help a team win quite as much as Lin? It doesn't seem so.
Felton has fallen a long way since running and gunning with D'Antoni's Knicks a few years back, and Sessions has never been more than the fourth- or fifth-best player on any good team. Lin, meanwhile, has the capability of carrying a team, as we saw back in February.
The Knicks aren't going to find anyone else out there who can score 20 points in any given game, hit a game-winning three or dole out seven or eight dimes a game. That kind of production just isn't out there.
New York may be ruining their ability to wiggle around the luxury tax in three years, but they won't be able to add anyone of this caliber anyway unless they somehow finagle their way into trading Amar'e Stoudemire, which isn't happening anytime soon.
The Knicks have great talent, but Lin is a guy who can bring that talent together in one cohesive unit should everyone work out well together, which is something they desperately need.
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