The New York Knicks are reportedly done deliberating and they will not match point guard Jeremy Lin’s ridiculous offer sheet, Linsanity will be headed to the Houston Rockets. It is a surprising move, because of the national attention that Lin brought the Knicks last season when he went from back of the roster scrub who went undrafted out of Harvard to the starting point guard, averaging 18.5 points 7.6 assists per game over 26 games last season. The move is also surprising because of the worldwide marketing money and attention that Lin brings in from across the globe.
Apparently the deal breaker for the Knicks is the third year of the contract that Lin was offered by the Rockets (2014-2015) which pays him $14.8 million dollars, an extremely high price tag for a player that has only produced in 26 games in his career and clearly has some deficiencies on the court, and would end up costing the Knicks over $30 million dollars because they will be over the luxury tax.
Of course the Dolan family, who owns the Knicks, is one of the richest families on the planet and could easily afford to bring back Lin and pay the luxury tax hundreds and hundreds of times over.
From a pure basketball standpoint, letting Jeremy Lin leave town makes sense. The Knicks have future Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd on the roster and have brought back former Knick Raymond Felton, plus signed Argentianan point guard Pablo Prigioni. Of course each of these players have their own issues, Kidd is 39 years old and got a DWI during his first weekend as a member of the team LINK HERE, Prigioni is 35 years old and has never played in the NBA, and Felton has consistently struggled with his weight. In my mind there is zero chance that Jeremy Lin is worth half of the $14.8 million dollars that the Houston Rockets will be paying him during the 2014-2015 season, and there is a chance that Lin was just a flash in the pan.
However, the Knicks are letting a 23 year old international phenomenon walk out the door and getting nothing in return. From a marketing standpoint and from a global attention standpoint, this is a huge misstep by James Dolan and the Knicks organization. The move will cost them millions upon millions of dollars and attention on the national and global stage. Jeremy Lin was a instant superstar and the talk of New York City who saved the Knicks season, Linsanity made the cover of Time magazine, and the Knicks were leading Sportscenter every day.
As a Knicks fan I wish I could say I was shocked that the organization is not doing whatever it takes to keep Lin in the orange and blue, but once again owner James Dolan is making a purely incompetent decision that will cost the organization in the long run. I would not be surprised if this move costs the Knicks organization fans, those angry with the organization may jump ship and latch on to the new cross town rival Brooklyn Nets. Especially the younger generation, who will be attracted to part owner Jay-Z and the team’s hip-hop style, plus they should be putting a solid and entertaining product on the court. Although the Nets missed out on All-Star Center Dwight Howard, they still got better this offseason, they have clearly improved.
The Knicks on the other hand, have a deeper team, which is much older and has no guarantees to be better on the court. The Knicks added big men Marcus Camby (38 years old) and Kurt Thomas (39 years old) point guards Jason Kidd (39 years old), Pablo Prigioni (35 years old) and Ray Felton (28 years old) and forward James White (29 years old). They lost 23 year old phenomenon Jeremy Lin and 24 year old swingman Landry Fields and received nothing in return for either player. Basketball is a young man’s game, and older does not equal better, the New York Knicks have one of the oldest rosters in the entire NBA. It might be the oldest, I haven’t done the research.
The sad part is, the reason that Jeremy Lin may be ending up in Houston may be because owner James Dolan was hurt when Lin flew to Las Vegas after being told that the Knicks would match the Rockets original offer sheet to meet with Rockets management, causing the Rockets to revise their offer sheet to include such a big payout in the third year of the deal. Jeremy Lin was doing what was best for him, Jim Dolan, it’s a business and he was not trying to hurt your feelings. My gut reaction right now is all too common among the Knicks fanbase right now, “Typical James Dolan, Typical New York Knicks”