NBA Free Agency 2012: Why the New York Knicks Must Match the Jeremy Lin Offer

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NBA Free Agency 2012: Why the New York Knicks Must Match the Jeremy Lin Offer
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Royce Young of CBS Sports has reported that Jeremy Lin has officially signed an offer sheet with the Houston Rockets that will pay him $25 million over three years.

Though the deal was initially reported to be for four years, with the fourth being a player option, the Rockets have decided to instead pay Lin more during the third season.

Under the Gilbert Arenas provision, teams may not offer restricted free agents more money in the first year than the team can match. Thus, the contact will pay Lin around $5 million during each of the next two seasons and will jump to nearly $15 million in the third season of the deal.

Though the Knicks already have three players making over $15 million annually in Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, owner James Dolan and general manager Glen Grunwald must match this offer to Lin.

Though the team will sign Jason Kidd to a three-year, $9 million contract, Kidd is no longer capable of being a starting point guard in this league due to his lack of athleticism and diminishing jump shot. Kidd is 39 years old and will be 42 when his contract expires.

Lin is New York's point guard of the future due to his ability to penetrate defenses and run the pick-and-roll efficiently.

If coach Mike Woodson can reduce the amount of isolation plays that he runs for Carmelo Anthony, the team can move the ball around and will be one of the best teams in the conference. Lin still struggles with defense and managing his turnovers, but having Chandler, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, behind him to help him on that end and being mentored by Kidd, one of the greatest point guards to ever play the game, will surely help him.

Lin also drives up merchandise sales, as he is one of the most popular players around the league, playing in the NBA's biggest market.

The young point guard is very effective at finding Chandler and Stoudemire and can help both elongate their careers and can also drive to the rim on his own. Re-signing Lin is a must for the Knicks if they want to win a championship.

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