When the reported offer-sheet the Houston Rockets agreed to with Jeremy Lin was released as four-years, $28.8 million, there were indications that the Knicks planned to match any offer “up to one-billion dollars.” Now, after we’ve learned that Jeremy Lin’s actually deal pays him $25.1, guaranteed, in a three-year deal, we have seen the Knicks work a sign-and-trade for Raymond Felton, which leaves us unsure if the Knicks will choose to match Lin’s offer-sheet.
The difference between the originally reported deal and the current deal is as follows:
Reported: Year-one: $5 million; Year-two: $5.2 million; Year-three: $9.2 million; Year-four (option): $9.2 million.
Actual: Year-one: $5 million; Year-two: $5.2 million; Year-three: $14.9 million.
After acknowledging the reported offer, the Knicks’ front office either thought Lin was worth the money or he wasn’t. It’s simple. They might know something about his knee, good or bad, think he’s over-hyped, or under-hyped, or just want to bring him on for the marketing opportunities. Either way, they were leaning in one direction.
With that said, I don’t think a $6 million increase in the third and final year of Lin’s actual deal will change the Knicks’ mind.
If the Knicks didn’t think Jeremy Lin was worth the reported deal, there’s no way they think he’s worth the actual deal, which would leave them to find a replacement (Felton) to run the team.
If the Knicks thought Lin was worth the reported deal, they shouldn’t worry about the $6 million increase because they will easily make the money to cover the added expense. I’ve touched on it before, but keeping Jeremy Lin in New York adds $25-50 million in revenue to the team each season. Without Linsanity last year, the Knicks’ revenue would be $10-20 million less.
Either way they were initially leaning, I don’t think an increase of $6 million – that would be covered in revenue – changes anything. The Knicks have either planned to part ways with Jeremy Lin, of keep him, for a while now, and will follow the plan, unless Jame Dolan takes Lin’s re-negotiation to heart and chooses to turn down the deal because he feels betrayed. Obviously, we hope this is not the case, as Dolan wouldn’t be putting the team’s basketball needs first, but rather his personal vendetta.
I still believe Jeremy Lin will be matched, because of the basketball player he is. There’s no way Raymond Felton makes the Knicks a better team than Jeremy Lin does.