The clock started ticking on the Knicks 3 day window to match the offer for Lin Saturday night and the Knicks did something totally unexpected...they re-acquired former Knick PG Raymond Felton.
With former Maverick PG Jason Kidd on the Knicks roster already, the writing is on the wall. Lin appears unlikely to be retained.
The Knicks have signed a lot of players this off-season in an effort to keep a hold of their credibility with New Yorkers in the face of the Nets' signing spree. With the new Luxury Tax, that total team payout appeared to be approaching well, well over $100 Million.
The Mavs may have a legitimate top 25 PG in Darren Collison, but he does have limitations. He is very solid and can credibly start, but he appears to be the consistent guy with a lower ceiling. It is time for the Mavericks to jump in on this. Lin starting with Collison backing up solves the Mav's PG issues wonderfully for the next decade.
The Knicks are risking a fan rebellion
The Knicks need cap control and a SG to replace Landry Fields. The Mavs need guard who can win games late. Adding one of the better PGs in the league would certainly work. They need another ace closer to pair with Dirk.
The Knicks are looking at losing Lin for nothing and still having SG issues. Why not offer Dominique Jones, Brandan Wright, and a pair of firsts for Lin? Jones was a well respected 2 gurard prospect on draft day who appears the odd man out with Roddy Beaubois and Jared Cunningham on the roster. Landry Fields was not such an incredible player than he cannot be replaced by merely a somewhat appealing prospect.
If the Knicks need something sexier to avoid a total fan rebellion, even Roddy Beaubois and a first for Lin could be workable. Beaubois is a natural scorer ala Jet Terry who Dallas keeps trying to turn into a thinking PG, so he will likely never again play like he did his rookie season in Dallas.
If the deal has to wait a bit, both teams can agree to sit their players until the deal can be consummated.
Lin's deal is very manageable for Dallas
Lin would make $5M a year for the next two years while Dallas chases free agents. Either deal would help NY financially and would amount to Dallas adding Lin for only $3 Million more committed to the cap over the next two salary cap years.
Dallas and New York would be wise to thwart Houston
Lin in Houston makes the Rockets far more appealing to a big man. The current trade on the table has the Rockets taking back all of Miami's bad contracts along with Howard. That is essentially the Magic starting 5 minus Jameer Nelson.
Is that a better team when you replace Jameer Nelson with a winner like Jeremy Lin? I think it is a playoff team. The talks are that Houston would keep 2 of the 3 first rounders they took this year. That helps too.
This could become another dangerous team to Dallas in the west. You don't want to face a winner like Lin in the playoffs on a regular basis.
The Rockets clearly seem to be thinking that even if Howard sticks to his idea of not re-signing, Houston can trade him and a bad contract or two to NJ for a package including Brook Lopez and picks or to LA for a package including Andrew Bynum and picks.
The Rockets still end up with a top 5 center for the next decade and Jeremy Lin. Not good for Dallas.
And it isn't good for New York either. They have to deal with the PR backlash of letting Lin walk for having signed a washed up Jason Kidd and then they may see it bite them again in the butt in less than a year.
If Howard doesn't want to re-sign in Houston or deal with a trade to LA, it opens the door for the Nets to upgrade again with a superstar, trading out Lopez plus for Howard. As Houston would have Lin, they could be more receptive to shedding contracts and taking back less star power with Lopez, leaving the very real possibility of a Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Dwight Howard trio competing with the Knicks for fan support.
If New York cuts a deal with Dallas for Lin, it changes the math a lot.
Suddenly the Rockets lack the star power to appeal to Bynum enough to get him to agree to play in Houston.
Houston then goes forward with no point guard and no other star potential on the team. The odds of a really bad season that has Howard once more looking at a trade are greatly increased. In that scenario, the Rockets would likely really stick it to the Nets about taking back bad contracts. You could see Joe Johnson coming back with Lopez just to get enough bad deals heading out.
That works for the Knicks.
Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez aren't going to be as threatening in the playoffs to Dallas. Works for Dallas.
Let's get it done
Come on Dallas...Dirk needs a closer to compete. Let's get it done.