NBA 2012: Why the New York Knicks Must Let Jeremy Lin Walk
Since the beginning of July, the big story in the NBA has been the free agent signings.
While the deals are not official until July 11, teams and players have come to agreements as every team tries to shift and trade to put themselves into contention for next season.
One of the big names being thrown around as of late is New York Knicks' point guard Jeremy Lin.
Lin is a restricted free agent.
ESPN has reported that the Houston Rockets have offered Lin a contract worth just shy of $30 million. Because Lin is a restricted free agent, the Knicks have the opportunity to match the contract offer to keep him in New York.
Let me be clear about one thing: The Knicks should not match this offer.
I understand that Linsanity was a fun craze for a couple of weeks but the bottom line is this—Nobody knows that to expect from Jeremy Lin.
Lin made his incredible leap to stardom without the two biggest stars on the team—Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire—in the lineup for the most part. When the two of them returned from injury, he stalled.
Not only that, but look at the teams that Lin played when he had his Linsane stretch.
In the 27 games that Lin played 20 minutes or more (pretty much the entirety of the Linsansity period), 13 of them were against playoff teams, playing the 76ers, Pacers and Mavericks twice each. He played 10 playoff teams in 27 games this season.
In the games that he played 20 minutes or more, he averaged 18.1 points per game with 7.6 assists and just under 4.5 turnovers per game. I know that on the surface those are pretty decent numbers except for the turnovers.
However, you have to consider the fact that he was only a serious contributor for 40 percent of a shortened season. After that he got hurt so severely he had to miss the last month of the regular season and the entire first round of the playoffs.
Should the Knicks match the Rockets offer?
I know Linsanity was fun and it brought New York basketball back to life momentarily, but the Knicks should not commit the next four years and almost $30 million dollars to Jeremy Lin.
He played well when he was the focal point of a Mike D'Antoni offensive system that saw Steve Nash win the MVP twice. The system is designed to have the point guard be the best player on the floor.
Now that Mike Woodson is in charge and the pressure is on him to create cohesion between two players like Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, the Knicks cannot afford to have to make room for Jeremy Lin.
This is all assuming he comes back 100 percent from his injury. I know there is no reason to expect him not to be completely recovered but with knees, you never know. Just ask Amare.
As mentioned, we don't know what to expect from Lin next season. He could be bothered by the injury. He could not fit in well with Mike Woodson's system.
We don't know how well he would fit in because he was hurt for almost the entirety of Woodson's tenure as head coach last season. We don't know if he can play with Carmelo and Amare who must be the focal points of the offense.
After only 27 games and a knee surgery, I can't honestly say that I endorse Jeremy Lin as the point guard of the future for the New York Knicks. And that is exactly what this contract would mean.
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