Pros and Cons of New York Knicks' Decision to Let Jeremy Lin Walk

Thomas AttalCorrespondent IAugust 13, 2012

Pros and Cons of New York Knicks' Decision to Let Jeremy Lin Walk

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    Last month, the New York Knicks elected to let Jeremy Lin go to the Houston Rockets, and it caused quite some debate. 

    Some felt that the Knicks were making a huge mistake letting the social phenomenon go, others felt that they made the intelligent, objective decision.

    The truth is, only time will tell if the Knicks were correct in refusing to match the offer that ESPN reported as being over $25 million for three years. Perhaps Jeremy Lin will do great in Houston, perhaps he will falter.

    Maybe Raymond Felton will do great in New York, and maybe the Knicks will find themselves looking for yet another point guard a year from now.

    Even then, who knows how each player involved in the decision would have done on a different team with different players.

    However, in trying to understand the landscape of the NBA for the upcoming season, it is important to determine the effects of the choice made by New York. On paper, there are upsides, and there are downsides to every decision. This one was no different.  

1. Pro: Finances

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    According to ESPN, the third year of the offer the Houston Rockets made for Jeremy Lin, valued at $14.8 million, is what scared off the New York Knicks.

    The deal was designed to hurt the Knicks in the third year as it would have pushed them over the salary cap and forced them to pay a hefty luxury tax. 

    Beyond the luxury tax problems, $25 million is a lot to pay for a player that proved himself over a span of only 25 starts. Lin may have shown great potential and the capacity to be a star, but that doesn't mean he has justified being paid that much. 

    The Knicks have a history of paying way too much for players that have yet to really prove themselves, and it's nice to see them be cautious for once. 

2. Con: Finances

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    The New York Knicks are already a hugely popular team, so they likely won't be losing much on ticket sales without Jeremy Lin. They definitely won't be losing out on jersey sales without Lin since sales from officially licensed products get evenly split between the 30 NBA teams.

    Where the Knicks did sacrifice potential revenue, however, is on Jeremy Lin's marketing value. As the first successful Asian-American in the NBA, his potential value on the Asian market is obvious.

    We all saw the world go crazy when Lin exploded onto the scene last season, and we are all seeing fans swarm to Lin wearing his number seven Rockets jersey during his current tour of Asia with the Rockets.

    Lin may have cost a lot for an unproven player, but you can't deny that as a star, his value is nearly unparalleled.  

3. Pro: Keep It Melo's Team

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    The New York Knicks gave up a lot to get Carmelo Anthony, and they are not willing to give that all away. 

    Carmelo is among the best pure scorers in the world, and he is who the Knicks want as their leader. This is Melo's team and he is the star. However, when Linsanity came around last February, that all changed in the eyes of the fans.

    Fans starting blaming Carmelo for the lack of wins, and MSG was littered with Lin jerseys. 

    The simple truth is, Carmelo is a significantly better player than Lin, and New York has to keep him happy. This has to be his team, and that was in jeopardy with Lin around. 

4. Con: Upset Fans

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    Rarely has a player been accepted so quickly by a fanbase as unforgiving as New York's. Jeremy Lin came out of nowhere, caused a social phenomenon of absurd proportions, and five months later he was gone.

    It is really simple. New York fans loved him. Everyone bought a jersey or a shirt, and everyone tuned in to watch him play. Everyone had a clever pun involving his name, and everyone wanted to make a sign.

    Even if fans understand the reasons for letting Lin go, many feel that they have seen the Knicks waste too much money over the years to just let their favorite player go. This was one guy they would've liked to see get an excessive contract, not Eddy Curry.  

5. Pro: Help Stoudemire with Felton

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    Amar'e Stoudemire has now been playing for the New York Knicks for two seasons. During that time, he has never played better than when Raymond Felton was alongside him.

    Then, in the middle of their first season together, Felton was traded to the Denver Nuggets as part of the deal for Carmelo Anthony. Since that trade, both players have struggled.

    Felton never started for Denver, and averaged only 11.4 points per game in Portland. Stoudemire's average per game went down from 25.3 in his first season in New York to 17.5 last season. He also became oddly fond of fire extinguishers.

    When they were together, however, STAT set a franchise record with nine consecutive games with a minimum of 30 points while Felton averaged 17.1 points per game. 

    Stoudemire is essential to this team being in contention for a title. Bringing back the man that perfected the pick-and-roll with him will certainly help get STAT back to his former glory.

    That, and the $100,000 worth of lessons Yahoo! Sports reported he is getting from Hakeem Olajuwon. 

6. Con: Letting Potential Walk Away

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    The reality is $25 million is excessive for an inexperienced point guard. Be that as it may, another reality is that Jeremy Lin showed significant potential in his short time playing in New York.

    It is not every day that a point guard comes along who can score 38 points on the Lakers and hit a game-winning three against Toronto, all within four days. 

    Lin was certainly an unpolished player as he turned the ball over way too much, but he also showed great skill. He penetrated the paint extremely well and often knocked down necessary jumpers. 

    Now, the option of seeing that skill grow over time and under the tutelage of Jason Kidd is gone.