NEW YORK (WFAN) — Well, Linsanity was fun while it lasted.
With the additions of Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd at point guard, it seems there’s not much room on the Knicks’ roster for Jeremy Lin and his big-money offer sheet from the Houston Rockets.
The team has said they’d match any offer for Lin, and even coach Mike Woodson said the phenom would “absolutely” be back next season. That was before the Rockets upped the ante to a guaranteed $25 million over three years. That’s $1 million for every start Lin made last season.
“It’s not up to me,” Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said Sunday. “It’s up to the organization to say they want to match that ridiculous contract that’s out there.”
New York brass reportedly told Lin they’d match Houston’s original offer. The Knicks, “furious” that Lin later “secretly flew to Las Vegas” to renegotiate with the Rockets, will now let him walk, according the the New York Post.
“(Owner James) Dolan is all about loyalty and the revamped offer sheet rubbed him the wrong way,” the paper reported.
Lin’s offer from the Rockets includes a poison-pill third year, worth about $15 million. If the Knicks were to match — they have until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Tuesday — the luxury tax for Lin’s contract alone that season could be $43.4 million, according to the Post. So it’s possible Linsanity could cost the Knicks a total of $58 million in 2014-15.
“I’m sure the city would love to have him back, but the team decided to go in a different direction,” Knicks guard J.R. Smith told Sports Illustrated. “It’s nothing personal, I don’t think, just business. We just hope everybody can benefit from here.
“I don’t really know how Mr. Dolan feels at this point with what the luxury tax is now and what it used to be, but I just hope it works out the best for both of them.”
Smith also said Lin’s contract would cause some hard feelings in the locker room.
“Without a doubt,” Smith said. “I think some guys take it personal, because they’ve been doing it longer and haven’t received any reward for it yet. I think it’s a tough subject to touch on for a lot of guys.”
Lin, the unknown Harvard product who became a global phenomenon after sparking the Knicks in February, averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists over 35 games (25 starts) last season. He wasn’t able to return for the team’s playoff run after surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee.
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