Jeremy Lin: Why He Will Earn His Mega Contract Next Season
As a restricted free agent, the Knicks have the right to match any offer for Lin, which they will most certainly take advantage of. According to ESPN’s Marc Stien, a source close to the Knicks told him,
"They will match any offer on Lin up to 1 billion dollars.”
This is clearly an exaggeration, but it does show just how serious the Knicks are about bringing Jeremy Lin back to New York to be their starting point guard for years to come.
Now that it is a forgone conclusion that Lin will be back with the Knicks, here are five reasons why he will earn the mega contract that he was given next season.
He Will Go Through Full Training Camp as Starting Point Guard
Jeremy Lin has never gone through a training camp knowing for sure he would be on the roster, let alone one where he knows he would be a focal point in the team’s offensive plans.
Going through a full training camp as the starting point guard with his teammates will really build team chemistry and help him learn exactly how the stars around him like to play. They will be able to try out different offensive sets in practice and figure out the best strategy to use during games.
Last season, Lin was learning on the fly and had to adjust his gameplan on a nightly basis with all of the injuries around him to players like Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
Having time to work with his teammates during training camp should certainly bring drastic improvements from Lin and the rest of the Knicks.
He Will Have His Playmakers Around Him
Last season, Jeremy Lin was out there by himself for many of the games he started in.
Not only did he need to be a ball distributor and keep his teammates involved in the offense, but he needed to be a dynamic scorer as well if the Knicks wanted to have any chance of winning.
Now that he has all of his playmakers back around him, Lin will be the third or fourth scoring option once again and not the first. It will be much harder for teams to defend against him knowing that Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire are also on the floor and will punish them if they focus too much on stopping Lin.
Jason Kidd Will Show Him the Ropes
What can be better for a young point guard than learning the ropes from a crafty veteran who has gone through just about everything the NBA has to offer?
Jason Kidd has been to the playoffs 16 times during his 18-year career, reaching the NBA Finals on three different occasions. He is also second all-time in NBA history in assists with 11,842, trailing only Hall of Famer John Stockton.
Not only is Kidd a great player, but he has a history of being a great leader and mentor for younger players as well. While playing on the Dallas Mavericks, Jason Terry talked about how Kidd’s play “rubbed off” on him and made him a much better player.
When asked by ESPN New York about the possibility of mentoring Jeremy Lin, Kidd seemed very excited about the possibility,
"That would be a lot of fun to help a player like that," he said. "Just share the things that helped me be successful in this league."
Having Kidd on the roster can only make Jeremy Lin a much better player than he already is.
He No Longer Has to Worry About Earning a Contract
All players play a little bit differently when they are fighting to earn a long-term deal.
Now that Lin has that mega contract that guarantees he gets paid for the next few seasons, he will be much more comfortable on the court and not need to worry about things like whose couch will he sleep on after the game on any given night.
Just knowing that the starting point guard role is now his job to lose and that there is no pressure on him to prove himself every game will make him a better player and teammate.
When a player doesn’t have money or a big contract guaranteed to them, that’s all they can think about. Now that that worry is behind him, he can just focus on basketball and improving his game every day.
He Now Has Some NBA Experience
Before Lin’s sudden emergence last season, he really had no experience playing against NBA-level point guards.
As a college player at Harvard, he certainly wasn’t going up against guys like Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo and Tony Parker on a nightly basis.
Now that he has played against this caliber of point guards, he will be able to adjust his game next season and apply what he’s learned.
Not only will he be able to make adjustments on the court, but in his pre-game preparations as well. Learning your opponent’s tendencies is key to the success of any NBA player. Before he suddenly became the starter, Lin was most likely never the focal point of his team’s film sessions or his coaching staff to make sure he was prepared for the upcoming game.
Now with part of a season as starter under his belt, Lin will be much better prepared to take on the competition when he starts again for the Knicks this upcoming season.