J.A. Adande wrote a story on ESPN about the fact that Lin is the big winner in this whole situation, because by heading to Houston he will be playing for a better organization with a better chance of winning sometime in the next five years. I didn’t read it, because I already knew this to be true.
Once Lin signed a poison pill contract with someone else, the Knicks did the right thing in letting him go. Because of how the luxury tax works, the third year of his contract would have cost the Knicks more money than any other has ever been paid to play NBA basketball. Lin is great, and I think he is far better than most analysts give him credit for. However, it still needs to be understood that he was a D-League player with almost no track record in the NBA other than his brief run with the Knicks. Is he worth the gamble of 14.8 mil the Rockets are throwing down in his third year? Yes. Is he worth the gamble of 30 million for one year? No.
However, that poison pill contract never would have happened if James Dolan & Co. knew how to run a franchise, because if they knew what they were doing, they never would have let Jeremy make it to the free agent market. He wanted to stay in NY, NY fans wanted him, and he deserved to be paid for the potential greatness he showed on the court. Even Bob Cousy gave rave reviews when asked what he saw in Lin on the court. He’s young, and the turnover issues would be fixed, that’s a normal young PG issue. I bet if the Knicks had offered Jeremy Lin a contract extension of, say, three or four years, at $5, $6, $9, or $5, $6, $8, $9, he would have taken it. Being a Harvard man, he would have known how much extra cash he could have made in the NY market. What would most likely have happened is that he would have made loads of cash, and the Knicks would have one of the best young PG in the league at a huge bargain. Instead, they let him hit free agency, knowing full well that he could be offered a poison pill offer sheet, which he might sign, tying the Knicks hands, since over the next few years they will be paying loads of money for a rapidly aging Amar’e Stoudemire.
Still, while he won’t have the NY market to cash in on, Jeremy Lin gets the great gift of NEVER HAVING TO DEAL WITH JAMES DOLAN AGAIN! That’s a big win if you ask me. The Knicks are remarkably disfunctional, and they probably would have self-sabotaged long before Lin had the chance to lead them to a title. Even if he plays at the highest possible projection of his talent.
As a Knicks fan, I’m sad to see him go. He was the only reason the Knicks were worth watching through most of this season. Yet, he seems like he’s about as good as athletes get in the character and likability department, and because of that, I’m glad he won’t be mired down by the ugliest, most poorly run, most useless organization in the NBA.
Good luck, Jeremy.