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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. jmmsr1 - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    What a mess!

    • knightrider1755 - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:53 AM

      They wouldn’t be the Knicks if they didn’t have some kind of drama surrounding them.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Jul 15, 2012 at 7:53 AM

      I haven’t folllowed his career since he left the Kniocks but Felton used to be a very good player. I’d have to believe he is going to produce more wins than LIN – someone who’s physical abilities are not overwhelming.

  2. chazzmon - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Not for nothing…but we know what Felton can do and championship PG is not what anyone expects. Jermey Lin although an unknown quantity has some upside and big city appeal, give him a shot NYK.

    • nhartzell928 - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:19 AM

      at least wit felton u kno what ur gonna get.. With Lin i dont think 3 yrs for 25 mil is worth someone that had a good couple of weeks…

    • kinggw - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:34 AM

      Do you think Lin is a championship PG? We still arent sure if he’s a bonafide starter. What we know about Felton is that he and Amare play great together and before he was traded to Portland he was playing at an All-Star level. I dont think he’s a panacea for the Knicks, but I think he is a cheaper, more logical alternative to Lin.

      • knightrider1755 - Jul 15, 2012 at 6:15 AM

        Yes Felton and Amare played great together under D’Antoni’s system. The Knicks are no longer using that system and instead have gone to an iso offense where the offense runs entirely through Melo. Felton’s impact will no longer be the same in Woodson’s system as it was in D’Antoni’s.

    • knightrider1755 - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:51 AM

      Raymond Felton is a toad.

  3. papichulo55 - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Let him go..Ball belongs to Melo, deservedly so.

    Lin gets to replace Yao in Houston, DHoward follows Mikan, Chamberlain, Jabbar, ONeal in LakerLand, Cleveland on the road to resectability with Bynum.

    Too many teams get better. Too good to be true.

    • saint1997 - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:31 AM

      Cleveland has never been in talks to get Bynum.

      • kinggw - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:37 AM

        Apparently there has been a three team trade that has been bandied about that would land Bynum in Cleveland, Howard in LA, and Orlando with a bunch of picks. I dont see how that trade works for Orlando because if it goes through its not like Cleveland will be a lottery team and even if they are they wont be picking in the top 5.

    • knightrider1755 - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:59 AM

      Would love to see Lin come back to the Garden next season and torch the Knicks for 42 pts in a winning cause for the Rockets.

    • buzzy55 - Jul 15, 2012 at 6:55 AM

      Because Melo’s teams over 9 years have done so well with him on the squad. He’s a pansy the Knicks should dump. Just watch him sucker punch Jeffries in 2006 and run away from him. The Knicks collective on floor iq is well below 100 with jr smith and anthony on the floor.

  4. saint1997 - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    Wow that is an unenviable decision. On one hand Lin is a decent PG with great hype and he puts butts in seats but RayRay was an expected all star reserve with the Knicks (some might argue that’s because he had one of the best roll men in Amar’e and a D’Antoni offence). I think you should still stick with Lin. He’s only a 3rd year player this season and has shown the potential (and is surrounded by the players) that could make him be really good.

  5. cantonbound13 - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    If Felton reports in shape it’s a great move by the Knicks. $15 million in the 3rd year is way too much for Lin. Felton is better defensively & a better ball handler. Love to have Kurt Thomas as a backup also.

    • knightrider1755 - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:49 AM

      Kurt Thomas just postponed his stay in a nearby nursing home to return to the Knicks.

  6. philtration - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Has there ever been a more hyped up and overrated player in NBA history than Jeremy Lin?

    • edweird0 - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:53 AM

      HaHahaha never thought I’d ever agree with your sorry excuse for a person.

    • thenmoveback - Jul 15, 2012 at 1:05 AM

      Lin is the Tim Tebow of the NBA, way to much hype for a backup

      • florida727 - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:59 AM

        Actually there’s one very significant distinction: Tebow led his team to the playoffs AND a first-round win. Something the New York Bricks haven’t done in a while. And as long as their so-called “offense” runs through Melo, they never will.

  7. adoombray - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    I would love to see this happen. Despite the media’s love for Lin, and the money he might make a team’s marketing department, he’s simply not a very good player and nowhere NEAR worth the money he’s gonna get paid. He put up decent numbers in a point guard friendly system that is long gone. He has some real limitations and in the isomelo offense that the NYK have committed to running for the next 2-3 years the point guard doesnt really matter anyway. I can’t believe i’m typing this, but the Knicks are doing the right thing, if this is true…

  8. samianalyze - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    I would not be surprised if the Knicks match the Lin contract and run a two pg lineup like the Clippers did last year. Both Lin and Kidd can play the shooting guard. This was a move just for the Heat stock up on penetrating guards who attack the rim.

  9. chip56 - Jul 15, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    For whatever it’s worth; the NBA just had a lockout over undeserved players getting exactly the type of contract Houston gave Lin off of less than one season’s worth of play.

    The Knicks were good & exciting with Felton two years ago & if they do pass on Lin then this more reasonable contract could give them assets to go after cp3 in a sign & trade next summer.

  10. jmmsr1 - Jul 15, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Knicks fan here spending the summer in PDX. Knowledgeable fans here say “good riddance to bad rubbish” while they laugh at this latest Knicks embarrassment.

  11. irish2u2 - Jul 15, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    First of all it’s ludicrous to think that a team that has paid more luxury tax than the rest of the league combined would be scared of a one year hit in 2015 especially since Jeremy Lin is a marketing cash cow for the Knicks. What NY makes off Lin merchandise will pay that luxury tax surcharge at least 2 times over and likely a lot more. This was a master stroke by Knicks GM Glen Grunwald. He now holds all the cards because he can afford to keep Lin and even use him in one of Coach Mike Woodson’s imaginative rotations or he can use Lin as bait for a sign and trade deal. According to capologist Larry Coon if both teams and the player agree, and trust me they all will agree, to waive the offer sheet they can then make a sign and trade deal. Houston would make that trade and even if it’s a trade exception it’s all good for the Knicks. If it’s something better than a trade exception Knicks fans should throw Grunwald a Broadway ticker tape parade. Lin is a good kid and I loved Linsanity but he played this offseason like business and now the Knicks are simply reciprocating. In the end it is all business and people should be reminded that Amar’e Stoudemire averaged 25 points per game when Felton was his PG.

    • kappy32 - Jul 15, 2012 at 6:06 AM

      They won’t make even a fraction of the luxury tax bill when, not if, Lin proves to be a flash in the pan & is nothing more than an average to below average player that belongs at the end of the rotation. Black, white, Asian, Indian, it doesn’t matter; you can’t market & make money off of mediocre product.

    • JustMeMike - Jul 15, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      Whatever you want to say about Jeremy Lin’s on court abilities is up to you. As the reply from Irish2u2 say it was ALL ABOUT BUSINESS. The Knicks should have kept their mouth shut. By announcing to the whole world that they would match – LIn and his agent figured out that – since the Knicks were so willing – let’s get even more money written into the deal.

      At then end of the day – he will get a large amount of money. So give credit for that.

      I do hope like Irish2u2 says that they figure away to create a new sign and trade deal work.

      • kappy32 - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:47 AM

        You guys are clueless. There is absolutely no way that the Knicks, Rockets & Lin can agree to a sign & trade under these conditions. Let the capologist worry about the money & let the lawyers explain the CBA. If all three parties agree to that, it equates to collusion & opens both teams up to severe penalties & runs the risk of having the trade vetoed by the commissioner for violating the CBA. The CBA is clear on the RFA rules: once a player SIGNS the offer sheet, it cannot be rescinded & the former team has ONLY the options to match it or let the player go. On the other hand, whether a deal could have been reached before he signed the offer sheet is something different & I believe that a deal was being examined & was why Lin waited so long to sign the offer sheet. Having the teams & player involved agree to usurp the RFA rules is a clear violation of the CBA & will not be upheld. If that is what you are hoping for, keep dreaming. The Knicks can either match the offer & retain Lin or let him go. End of story.

  12. atahualpaoxford - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Guys…don’t forget that the Knicks have also signed the starting PG for the argentinian basketball team that will be in the Olimpics.
    Pablo Prigioni is 35. He was playing on one of the best teams in Spain and left a pile of money to sign very very cheap for 1 year with New York.

  13. torothebronxbull - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    A’mare averaged 25 pts with Felton as his PG and NO MELO…much different when you got Melo screamin’, “Gimme da ball and get out da way”

  14. muhangis - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:43 AM

    Just a bad, bad move by the Knicks. Simple as that. Raymond Felton is one of the single most over-rated players in the NBA, coming off his worst season of an AVERAGE career, always shot a poor fg%, high on turnovers, and his #’s dip even more in playoff time.

    I give him credit that Felton is a decent defender, however Jeremy Lin isn’t a terrible defender himself, though offers way, way more on the O end. The downside on Lin is that his turnover rate last year was one of the worst in NBA history. Nevertheless, Lin’s upside substantially outweighs his downside, and he still balances out to be a very good asset.

    And Irish is right, why do the Knicks care about paying the luxury tax all of a sudden, when they’ve been paying the far highest the last I don’t know how many years! But for he’s a marketing cash cow, this is one of the rare instances where they’d still make a huge $$$ gain by having him. Thus the luxury tax practically means nothing. Makes zero sense to me.

  15. 00maltliquor - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    That’s one hell of a bargain for Felton! 3/10? Not that he’s a franchise changer or anything but surely he can fetch more then that. No wonder Lin’s out the door.

    • knightrider1755 - Jul 15, 2012 at 6:18 AM

      Felton had no other offers.

  16. thekingdave - Jul 15, 2012 at 5:01 AM

    If this comes to fruition and Lin becomes a Rocket, I would not tell head PBT blogger Kurt Helin about it. The “all knowing hoops” entity in the universe has smuggly talked down to us numerous times, declaring the Knicks would match any offer and we were stupid to suggest otherwise.

  17. kappy32 - Jul 15, 2012 at 6:00 AM

    This is not bad at all. Felton worked the pick & roll very well with Amare when he was here before the Melo trade, so we know he can work with one of the stars. Melo will probably demand a lot of isolations & rarely moves or slashes without the ball, so I don’t see a problem there either. When Lin was playing, he was at his best when Amare & Melo were out or when either of them were out. When he ran the point with both Amare & Melo on the floor, he struggled; there weren’t enough shots to go around. Lin is clearly a shooting PG & his game isn’t tailored to fit in a system where he’s the 3rd option behind Melo on isos, Amare in the post & Novak from 3. Lin’s turnover rate was way too high from a guy who is going to be asked to move the ball around more than shoot. Most importantly, we don’t know if Lin is even a good PGin this league. In my opinion, when the league caught up to him & made him go to his left where he was weak, he was average at best. The Knicks have been blasted for buying players to sell tickets instead of winning game. Had they matched that ridiculous contract offer, it would be the clearest example to date of Dolan buying a player to sell tickets & market. It is clear that the Knicks are seeking to put together a dominant defensive team, circa 1990-95 Knicks, with Chandler, Camby & Kidd. Lin is a terrible defender & was constantly beaten by sub-par guards. Felton is a very, very good defender & might just be the best defensive true PG outside of Chris Paul. 3 weeks doesn’t make a player worthy of superstar money & if Lin winds up being just an average to slightly below average player, which I believe is highly likely, then his contract becomes an albatross in year 3, leaving NY no cap flexibility & absolutely no chance of trading him. Signing Lin & having him not become a superstar would put the Knicks right back in the salary cap hell that Donnie Walsh spent 3 years getting them out from after the Isiah debacle. This was a good non-signing with Lin & a good signing with Felton. I give Glenn Grunwald an A+ for making smart basketball moves & not popular, marketing moves that don’t improve the on-court team.

  18. lakerluver - Jul 15, 2012 at 6:57 AM

    Hahaha, this is awesome!! Seems like the Rockheads out smarted themselves by offering Lin that deal. Now it appears they’re gonna get stuck with a deal they expected NY to match. Lin just might be a star in Houston but if he costs them the opportunity to get Bynum or Howard what’s the point? Speaking of Howard, he’s gonna look great in PURPLE AND GOLD! D12+Nash+Pau+Kobe+8 role players=RING NUMBER 17!!!

    • florida727 - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      Delusional comment, but fun to read nonetheless.

  19. hwatt - Jul 15, 2012 at 7:34 AM

    Lin had the most success away from Melo and with D’Antoni. Neither of those is happening for him going forward and there are better PGs out there, bottom line. The Knicks franchise will not be financially hurting bc of Lin’s departure. He was a nice cash cow, but it’s not like they needed the money. There are plenty of kids out there buying Melo jerseys, and maybe even Stoudemire jerseys. Couple that with being in NY, big business luxury seat capital of the world…. it’s hard to say they’ll miss the money Lin brings in. Lin isn’t going to bring in a lot of money if he isn’t scoring a lot of points…

  20. cantonbound13 - Jul 15, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    So the Rockets just screwed themselves in the Dwight Howard negotiations & the Raptors owe Landry Fields $19 million? Didn’t teams learn anything from the lockout? I’m surprised the Knicks are actually being smart in their spending. Must be because Isiah is no longer there.

  21. deeballer - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    This is the best situation for Lin because some of you are correct that he cannot play with Melo in Westbrook’s system. He could with Amare because Amare played in the D’Antoni system. Melo is an iso player and has proven to be pretty mediocre when it comes to team ball. I bet Tyson is cutting his wrist right now thinking about all this drama happening around him after he signed the Knicks contract.

    I don’t know why everyone seems to say that John Wall and all the other rookie point guards have such up swings and will be a great player, but not say the same about Lin. He’s pretty much a rookie himself and everyone seems to thinks that those 2 weeks are going to be the best his career will ever produce. Seems like most of you don’t think that he could mature a little more by cutting down on his turnovers and work on his footwork a little more? You can teach a person to do all those fundamental things, but you can’t teach John Wall and the other rookies the intelligence that Lin has. Such a double standard around here.

  22. florida727 - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    You might have to check back with me over time, but during the next 3 years I’m pretty sure I can give you roughly 25 million reasons why Jeremy Lin couldn’t give a sh!t if he ever puts on a Knicks jersey again.

  23. canehouse - Jul 15, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    The Knicks have definitely improved vastly this summer (other than retaining jr smith, total play ground garbage)… i like their chances of taking the Atlantic Division, and being the 2 or 3 seed in the East. Albeit some of their acquisitions are long (very) in the tooth… they still have enough young guys to balance it out nicely. Shumpert’s knee responding to the surgery and treatment are also key… with him back at full strength males their overall defense very, very good!

  24. dysraw1 - Jul 15, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    I Like It, its win win for the home team. i mean if the Knicks match now to keep their marketing ace at least it won’t hurt from a basketball standpoint.

  25. blazin211 - Jul 15, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Da Knicks is a complete waste of franchise

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