In an interview with Marcus Thompson II of the Silicon Valley Mercury News, the star point guard revealed that the initial offer sheet he was given was quickly altered when Houston GM Daryl Morey caught wind that the Knicks would match. Thompson II writes:
They agreed to a four-year, $28 million offer sheet, paying him about $9 million in each of the final two years. But by the time Lin arrived in Houston to sign the offer sheet, the Rockets -- after reports the Knicks would match – had pulled the first offer and changed the deal. The new offer sheet was for three years, with a third-year salary of $14.8 million.
That third year is what broke Knicks owner James Dolan’s will to match the restricted free agent’s contract, despite all Lin did for the franchise in 2012. Thompson estimated that the third year of Lin’s current contract would have cost the Knicks up to $40 million with the luxury tax.
A “poison-pill” contract of that magnitude was the only chance that Houston had to go into New York and pull off a heist that netted them a marketing sensation like Lin. He will be the poster boy of the franchise and also has an extremely high ceiling as a promising point guard.
Lin was understandably humble about the whole experience and tried to remain neutral, telling Thompson II:
"I didn't go back to them and ask for more money. It wasn't like they gave me the choice to sign one of the two and I chose the one that would hurt the Knicks. I had one contract offer. That was it."
However, it’s likely that the 23-year-old Taiwanese-American star was feeling dejected that the Knicks did not offer him a contract and instead waited for the Rockets to strike with not one, but two different offers.
Now that Houston has poached Lin away from New York with that massive contract, it’s time for the young man to prove he deserves it. The Knicks are hoping that he turns out to be an absolute bust and proves the world wrong, but that’s just unlikely to happen.
If there is one thing we can be sure about with Jeremy Lin, it’s his undying resiliency and will to succeed in spite of the odds. That is exactly why the Houston Rockets rewarded him with a large contract, and he will not let them down.