Last night, Jeremy Lin and the Houston Rockets came to terms on a four-year deal worth $29.8 million. The deal will give Jeremy $5 million in the first year, $5.2 million in the second year, $9.2 million in the third year and the fourth year is a player option of $9.2 million. Somehow, Jeremy Lin will be signed for less guaranteed money than Landry Fields. After signing Jason Kidd to backup Lin, the Knicks were prepared to match any offer Lin received. As Marc Stein of ESPN said the Knicks “will match any offer on Lin up to 1 billion dollars.”
Jeremy Lin is a young, talented point guard with room to grow, as well as a revenue stream for James Dolan.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, of 73 players with at least 90 isolations last season, only Chris Paul and James Harden averaged more points per isolation play than Jeremy Lin. Also, of 102 players that attempted at least 90 jumpers off the dribble last season, only Stephen Curry and Steve Nash shot better than Jeremy Lin’s 47.9%. It’s hard to argue with those statistics, and to me, they make $28.8 million look cheap.
Now, in Dolan’s mind, whether or not Lin can play basketball might be irrelevant. Lin is a gold mine, I expect Dolan to, as Mike D’Antoni once said, ride “him like freaking Secretariat.”
According to Forbes, Jeremy Lin adds $25-$50 million revenue to the Knicks’ team for the 2012-2013 season. Without the emergence of Linsanity last season, the Knicks wouldn’t have seen $10-$20 million in additional revenue last year.
Last season, during “LINSANITY“, Jeremy Lin held the top selling jersey for weeks, nearly doubled MSG Networks’ ratings (+70%), generated endless social media talk on Facebook – 125,000 new likes in a seven day period – and Twitter – 12,000 new follows, around a ~10% gain. NYKnicks.com and KnicksNow.com saw traffic increase by 550% over the previous week. MSG’s online store saw its traffic rise by 3000%, with fans trying to get ahold of some Lin merchandise.
So, if you have forgotten, Jeremy Lin is a talented young basketball player, with room to grow, especially under the tutorship of Jason Kidd, as well as a goldmine for James Dolan. The New York Knicks will match Jeremy Lin’s deal, because they’ll be losing money if they don’t.