Jeremy Lin: Losing Lin Will Be Big Blow for Carmelo and the New York Knicks

Michael DulkaContributor IJuly 16, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 11:  NBA player Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks accepts the Best Breakthrough Athlete award onstage during the 2012 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The New York Knicks have until tomorrow to decide whether or not to match the offer-sheet Jeremy Lin signed with the Houston Rockets. According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears, the Knicks are likely to let Lin walk instead of matching the contract. 

Knicks-Blazers trade announced. Still "highly doubtful" for NYK for match Jeremy Lin offer sheet due to luxury tax concerns, source tells Y!

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 16, 2012

After a breakout stretch during last season, Jeremy Lin was at the center of the NBA world. As eyes from around the globe turn towards London and the Olympics, Lin has once again stolen the spotlight. Debate has broken out over whether or not the Knicks should match the offer on Lin or not. 

The Knicks don't have much of a choice. The offer from Houston Rockets according to ESPN is worth "$5 million in the first year, $5.225 million in the second and $14.8 million in the third, according to sources."

The deal would put the Knicks over the cap and force them to pay hefty luxury-tax fees. Simply put, the team just can't afford to pay Lin for the value that he brings.

With Lin likely out of the picture, the Knicks brought back Raymond Felton in a sign-and-trade. Felton and Kidd are set to begin the preseason in the Knicks backcourt.

The player most likely to be impacted negatively by the lack of Lin's presence is Carmelo Anthony.

Most often criticized for being a "ball-stopper," Anthony has had his most successful season with elite point guard play. With a capable point guard, Anthony doesn't have to be relied on as the only legitimate scoring threat.

When Chauncey Billups was brought to Denver, Anthony became a better player thanks to having some of the load taken off his shoulders. At the height of their partnership in Denver, the pair reached the Western Conference finals before falling to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Last season, Anthony and Lin didn't get much practice time or game time together as both dealt with injuries. It would have been exciting to add another capable scorer alongside Anthony. That would have taken pressure off Anthony and allowed him to focus on his defense and being more efficient as a scorer. 

With Lin likely out of the picture, more of the responsibility will fall on Anthony's shoulders to get it done for the Knicks. When this has been the case historically for Anthony, he gets close to that "ball-stopping" label that has been so synonymous with his name.

While the Knicks could have been a legitimate contender with Lin on the team, they are just an average playoff contending team in the East. They have plenty of work to do, and much of that burden will fall on Anthony.