Source confirms Rockets have committed a 4 yr, $30M sheet to NYK guard Jeremy Lin. NY will have 3 days to match when moratorium ends next wk— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 5, 2012
Ordinarily, it would seem like a no-brainer for the Knicks to match that offer and retain the man who stole all the headlines in 2012.
The only wrinkle in this instance is that the Houston Rockets have made the last two years of Lin's four-year offer an estimated $10 million a piece. That wouldn't be prohibitively expensive on face, but it's a lot of money for a team that's already way over budget.
Nevertheless, according to Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick, the Knicks are indeed expected to pay up:
With Jason Kidd shocking Mavs and opting for NY, source says Knicks still expected to match Jeremy Lin offer sheets. They want 1-2 PG punch.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 5, 2012
Whether they actually should is a far question.
But, who are we kidding?
New York needs Lin as much for his marketable celebrity as his on-court prowess. That shouldn't take anything away from what kind of point guard he is–it's just a reminder that the 23-year-old can make this franchise a whole lot of money.
And yes, even after you deduct a clean $30 mil from the equation.
From merchandise sales to television broadcasting deals, celebrity matters. It matters all the more so in a place like New York.
Of course, the Knicks also need Lin for a few basketball reasons. He's the best-available point guard on the free-agent market, and he's already had time to adjust to the Knicks' system. More importantly, we know his teammates like him, and that goes a long way on a squad that hasn't been known for its chemistry.
The book on Lin is well-known. He's a solid defender, and he can score from all over the floor.
He's still a work-in-progress, but he's already progressed quite a bit.
The final cost-benefit-analysis probably indicates that $30 million is a bargain for a guy like this. Even if New York wanted to go after a guy like Chris Paul next summer, it would need to orchestrate a sign-and-trade deal to do so on account of its non-existent cap space.
It's a bit soon to label Lin trade bait, but he's a better asset than just about anyone else on this roster.
Will New York match Houston's offer? Of course. Why would they stop spending now?
You better believe it.