Another source insists #Knicks won't match Lin's offer sheet.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) July 15, 2012
UPDATE: Sunday, July 15 at 10:59 a.m. ET
Marc Berman of the New York Post explains the situation from a financial standpoint:
The Knicks had been set to match Lin’s original offer sheet of four years, $28.9 million that had a $19 million guarantee before the Rockets threw a financial curveball that called for a $15 million third year that would have doomed owner James Dolan’s luxury-tax predicament.
Later in the piece, Berman explains the problem that the Knicks could have in the third year of Lin's deal.
If Lin made $14.9 million in 2014-15, the Knicks’ payroll could include eight players costing $87 million — or as much as $17 million over the luxury-tax threshold. Originally, the Rockets offer sheet was for $9.3 million in the third year.
Going deep into the luxury tax under the new CBA will be tough for any owner to do, even one as rich as James Dolan. By not matching the offer sheet, the Knicks would have much more financial flexibility down the road, which is very important for them.
--End of Update--
While Lin would have continued to develop as a point guard this season with a full year in the offense and more time to develop chemistry with his teammates, he just isn't worth the kind of money that the Rockets are offering.
Even a team like the Knicks, who rarely turn down the opportunity to sign players because of money, could be making one of their smartest free-agent moves in years by not matching Lin's offer sheet.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports helps explain why the Lin contract wasn't a desirable one for New York.
Luxury tax team NYK fear of matching Lin deal understandable when 3rd year of tough to trade contract would cost $15 million,source tells Y!— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 15, 2012
So how could the Knicks replace Lin if they refuse to match his offer sheet? According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, the Knicks have acquired Raymond Felton from the Portland Trail Blazers in a multi-player trade.
The Knicks have acquired Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas from Portland for Jared Jeffries and Dan Gadzuric, sources tell the Daily News— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) July 15, 2012
Fans who are mad about the Knicks not matching Lin's offer sheet should realize that Felton was a fantastic player in New York when the team started off the 2010-11 season very well. Felton and Amar'e Stoudemire had exceptional chemistry, and the Knicks were actually playing team basketball on a consistent basis.
Felton's time at Madison Square Garden was cut short that season when he was part of the Carmelo Anthony trade with the Denver Nuggets. Giving him up was a poor decision, but his return will really benefit the Knicks.
Felton can score driving to the basket, has a good outside shot and is an above-average playmaker. He will form a solid point guard duo with newly signed veteran Jason Kidd. This will be the best point guard tandem the Knicks have had in years.
By letting Lin go to Houston and bringing in a talented point guard in Felton—who is already familiar with the team and has shown he can excel on the New York stage before—the Knicks would ultimately be a better team.
Linsanity appears to be over in New York, but Lin's remarkable 2011-12 season is something Knicks fans will never forget.
Nicholas Goss is an NBA and NHL Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report