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Knicks sign-and-trade for Raymond Felton, is Jeremy Lin on the way out?

Jul 14, 2012, 11:53 PM EDT

New York Knicks' Lin pumps his fist from the bench as teammates score during their NBA basketball game in Toronto Reuters

Things went from “easy and predictable” to completely insane Saturday night in Gotham. It had been a few days since things with the Knicks had seemed berserk, so of course, all that detonated as news broke that the Knicks’ point guard situation could be altered dramatically in a matter of hours.

Here’s a rundown of how this happened.

Late Saturday night, a television reporter in South Carolina tweeted that he had spoken with free agent point guard and former New York Knick Raymond Felton and the guard told him that he was headed to New York in a sign-and-trade and that Jeremy Lin would not have his 3-year, $25 million offer sheet from the Rockets matched by the Knicks. Chaos ensued.

Then the New York Daily News reported that the Knicks had in fact reached out to Felton to discuss a deal and sign-and-trade, giving the report from South Carolina credence.

Yahoo Sports reported the deal was close and that Jeremy Lin was “close to being a Rocket.” 

The New York Daily News reported that the deal was done, with Felton and Kurt Thomas headed from Portland to New York for Dan Gadzuric and Jared Jeffries. confirmed the trade. Yahoo Sports reported that the Knicks would give Felton a 3-year, $10 million contract.

The New York Post reports that a source indicates the Knicks will not match the offer. Every other outlet is staying quiet on that matter for now, waiting on confirmation.

That’s a huge question looming for both the Knicks and the Rockets.

For the Knicks, it’s a stunning move away from both the player who set the sporting world on fire for a few weeks in late winter, a financial boomtown all by himself due to marketing potential, and from their long insistence that they would match any offer made for Lin. It was a guarantee that Lin would be a Knick, by most sources. Now it appears as if it’s very possible that the richest team in the land is being scared off by the fear of the luxury tax hitting them in three years, when the structure of a matched contract for Lin would result in $15 million owed to the point guard.

It has long been thought that the Knicks couldn’t care less about the luxury tax. This would render all of that false.

Even more complicated still is the prospect of the Knicks matching for Lin. It would mean a three-point-guard rotation, with J.R. Smith signed to the two-guard spot and Iman Shumpert expected back early next year. Where does Jason Kidd fit into that plan? Would the Knicks play Felton, Lin, or Kidd at the 2-guard spot as a reserve? What role does Felton fit in? How would Lin fit in with his relative inexperience next to Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd?

Why would they sign three point guards at that level and price?

The questions go on and on and still have to be answered.

For the Rockets, there are huge questions about how it impacts their chase of Dwight Howard and the questions remain in flux as we try and get a handle on the situation. There are indications that the deal could sink the trade for Howard, or have no impact on it whatsoever. What is clear is that if the Bulls do not match the offer sheet Houston signed Omer Asik to, there’s going to be a huge chunk reserved in terms of space, and the Rockets would be unable to trade either player until December 15th, meaning they’re running out of options to trade for Howard.

The Blazers got a second round pick and some roster filler for a point guard they weren’t going to retain. No big deal for them.

The Knicks have one of the biggest choices of their franchise in front of them, and the implications either way could be massive. Lin could be massively overpaid, having only excelled in a handful of games last season. Letting him go could be a killer with the kind of skillsets and physical conditions Felton and Kidd bring with them. This is a monstrous decision for the Knicks, and the stakes are as high as they can be.

We know Raymond Felton is back as a Knick. Everything else we’re still working on.

  1. dysraw1 - Jul 15, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    poised vets seems to be the theme for Knicks, love the fact that Kurt [ if he makes the roster] will retire a Knick after all he was here in our last glory days

  2. blueblood86 - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Watch Lin bought out by next offseason

  3. jimeejohnson - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    “…Can’t market & make money off of mediocre product.”

    A most erroneous statement: Wal-Mart alone proves you wrong, let alone all the other cheap crap Americans scarf up like there’s no tomorrow. Fast food, American Idol, George Bush Jr., Jerry Springer, Hyundai and Kia, and many other shitty products are more popular than ever, thanks to the dumbing down of America, courtesy of pawns for the rich.

  4. klink6224 - Jul 15, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Personally I’m really happy the Knicks are signing Lin to that contract. All this talk about them being a joke and throwing good money after bad, and then people whine they aren’t re-signing him after a 35 game body of work? Knicks are old with Kidd, Thomas and Camby as their “new” guys but are better complimentary pieces to A’mare and Melo and well Felton now too. Finally they have some big bodies to put on the post. If they are ever to get out of their own way not signing Lin is a step in the right direction.

    • klink6224 - Jul 15, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      are’nt* signing Lin

  5. bigbamboom1 - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Big time right move by the Knicks. And I say this not having a dog in this fight. Felton and Kidd is a vastly superior PG rotation for the knicks. Especially going up against the likes of Rondo/Bradley, D. Williams, J. Wall, Chalmers/Cole, Jrue Holliday and the speedy Phiily group. At best Lin proved to be a serviceable 2 guard miscast as a PG. But the problem is, he can’t defend other NBA 2 guards. And as Chalmers and Rondo showed last year, he has no chance against top NBA PG’s.

    A lot of people in and out of the Knicks locker room questioned his desire, heart and toughness, after he went AWOL in the playoffs despite, by his own admission, being 85% ready. Just look at how elite players in those wonderful playoffs last year sucked it up and played through serious injuries, and you get the point. Lin’s pain threshold seem to be very low. Not a good sign! Contrast that to D. Wade, Ray Allen & others in the playoffs and he becomes laughable to many. If Baron Davis returns to health, he will be the hybrid 1 & 2 guard in the Knicks roatation. Shumpert is already a budding star as the 2 Guard. Basically Linsanity is squeezed out in NY. They need 1-2 more swing guys between 2 & 3 to make a run at the Heat. Camby was a huge pickup at 5!

    But more than anything, I think Felton will be a stud in that system. He will distribute the ball to the scorers & dunkers in situations that favor them. And he is a shut down defender. Shumpert, and JR Smith will be much better playing with him and Kidd. Between the 2 they will give NY 21 pts and 15 assists every night. The addition of Felton and Camby along with a full off season of training camp & healing will make the Knicks dangerous this season. So cheer up NY. Your Linsanity last year was terrific fun, when you thought your season was in the toilet. But alas, it is now Houston’s insanity.

    • badintent - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:35 AM

      Sumpert can’t shoot a 10 foot jump shot, forget about 3s, Felton is not Shumpert on D, too slow, over weight and J.R. is just plain stupid. Never saw a plan that he understand or remember. Rondo blows by everyone , no disgrace that he goes by Lin , Lin has superior IQ, and skills. Felton is a great passer but is still an erratic shooter. Felton IS a good Flopper and will end up on Heat !

  6. hardscramble - Jul 15, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Pretty awesome Felton appreciation thread going over at Blazer’s Edge

    The cat meme in the comments especially gets me.

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