Knicks Rumors: Jeremy Lin's Deal with Rockets Doesn't Mean He Won't Return to NY
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Knicks are prepared to match any offer that Lin receives:
Source with knowledge of Knicks' thinking: "They will match any offer on Lin up to 1 billion dollars"— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 5, 2012
Here is something to make New Yorkers feel even better about the situation via CBS' Ken Berger:
Knicks have prepared and planned for this, have every intention of matching offer.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 5, 2012
The 23-year-old international sensation is a restricted free agent, meaning that the Knicks hold his destiny in their hands. If they want him back, he's back.
In June, Lin and Steve Novak were awarded their "early Bird rights" by an arbitrator, meaning that the Knicks can re-sign both players without using their other salary-cap exceptions.
Bird rights—for those who don't know all the complicated rules of the collective bargaining agreement—are earned when a player plays at least two seasons with the same team. The rule makes it so a player can be retained regardless of salary cap space.
The case revolved around whether a player's Bird rights are retained when a player is waived. Fortunately for the Knicks, the arbitrator, Kenneth Dam, a law professor at the University of Chicago, ruled that players indeed do retain their rights when they are waived.
Bringing Lin back is still one of the Knicks' top priorities this summer, even after the team reached a verbal agreement with Jason Kidd worth $9 million over three years (per ESPN's Marc Stein).
Presumably, the plan is to bring Kidd in as a mentor to Lin. He's unlikely to play starters minutes after averaging just under 29 minutes a game last season with the Dallas Mavericks.
What will become of the Knicks next season?
Kidd averaged 6.2 points, 5.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds for a Mavericks team that doesn't have anywhere near the amount of offensive weapons that the Knicks do. It's safe to say the combination of Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler is more formidable than Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Jason Terry/Vince Carter.
Lin's downfall last season was that he was forced to play an inordinate amount of minutes before he was physically ready to do so. The wear and tear led to a torn meniscus in his left knee that required season-ending surgery.
Baron Davis and Mike Bibby were serviceable point guards back in their respective heydays but were nothing of the sort last season. Kidd will give head coach Mike Woodson a viable option at the backup point guard spot, as well as something like an extra coach on the floor.
So, Knicks fans, don't fret. This offseason doesn't appear to be going so well, but a deeper look will lead you to the conclusion that things are better than they seem.
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