However, Tyson Chandler—the Knicks starting center and reigning Defensive Player of the Year—does not believe that Lin is a natural floor general. Chandler told Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday that he felt the 24-year-old couldn’t run the offense properly and thinks the Knicks are better off with the veterans now on the roster.
“Jeremy was a young point guard who was inexperienced, who brought a great light to the organization,” Chandler said. “But as far as being able to run the offense and putting players in the right position he just wasn't there. We got some veteran point guards that are capable of doing that."
Considering Lin averaged 7.7 assists as the starting PG in New York (while also contributing 18.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 steals) and helped lead the team to 15 wins, it is a bit hard to find the merit in Chandler’s words.
The center played 23 games during the peak of Linsanity and should know better than anyone that the Knicks were a dangerous team that could hang with any other squad in the league with their Taiwanese-American point guard running the show.
New York elected to let him walk this summer, refusing to match the $25.1 million over three years that Houston GM Daryl Morey offered the restricted free agent. The franchise instead brought back Raymond Felton, signed Jason Kidd and convinced Pablo Prigioni to jump ship to the NBA.
While these guards are decent, Felton is coming off of one of the worst years of his career in Portland, Kidd will reach 40 years of age during the season, and Prigioni is a 35-year-old who isn’t proven stateside.
Lin is an upgrade over all of these players and—worst of all—the Knicks didn’t have to choose between the veterans and third-year man out of Harvard. New York could have easily matched Houston’s offer and still acquired Kidd, Felton and Prigioni.
Chandler and the rest of the organization will realize just how much they undervalued Lin and will miss him when the season begins in less than a month.