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J.R. Smith suggests Lin contract would not go over well in Knicks locker room

Jul 15, 2012, 8:18 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v New York Knicks Getty Images

There’s a real question now whether the Knicks will match the Jeremy Lin offer sheet from Houston, a three-year, $25 million offer. They have until Tuesday to decide.

On one hand there is the fact Lin is not worth that much, he’s really not worth the $14.2 million he makes the third year of the deal. With the Knicks just signing Raymond Felton and with Jason Kidd on the roster, the Knicks don’t need him, it’s not a basketball move.

But the Lin contract was never really about basketball — the man sells a lot of jersey, sells tickets and has sponsors lining up. He’s good for business and a deal at $5 million a year, which is what he makes the first two years of the contract. It’s the third year that is in question — is it worth it?

But there’s another consideration for New York: What would it do to the Knicks locker room? J.R. Smith was honest and told Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated it wouldn’t be good.

“I think some guys take it personal, because they’ve been doing it longer and haven’t received any reward for it yet. I think it’s a tough subject to touch on for a lot of guys.”

Carmelo Anthony already called the Lin contract offer “ridiculous.” And in a basketball terms he is right, Lin might be solid starting PG in a few years, but he’s not a $14 million a year guy. Especially not in an NBA world with a punitive looming luxury tax coming.

But this is a business decision. This is a James Dolan decision.

106 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. cakemixa - Jul 15, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    They wouldn’t care if Lin weren’t Asian.

    • camiller85 - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      Name someone black that went un-drafted that is getting paid $25 million off of 25 starts? Go ahead I’ll wait. Forget all that talk about he can sale because of the Asian market. At the end of the day its all about “W”. Just ask Yi Julian……..Isiah Thomas for Sacramento was drafted 60th overall last year, and played 10 times better and more consistent than Lin and he doesn’t even deserve that type of money “yet.”

      • bucsnsincity - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:38 PM

        Unfortunately it’s not all about W, it’s about $$$ and Houston knows Yao Ming left an untapped gold mine there that Lin can open… This isn’t a basketball it’s a business move

      • clickablecontent - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:40 PM

        Win/Loss % for both players in games started.

        Thomas: 12 of 37 (32.4% – down marginal 1% from Kings season average)
        Lin: 15 of 25 (60% – up 5.5% from Knicks season average)

      • beardown777 - Jul 15, 2012 at 11:00 PM

        The unheralded Landry fields just got a deal worth about 7 mil per year.

        Lin signed a contract worth about 8 mil per year.

        Don’t tell me that the Toronto locker room has a problem with Fields.

    • bucsnsincity - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:35 PM

      I don’t think it’s the fact that he’s Asian that would bother them it’s more the fact that he’s played half a season and now he’s getting this huge contract, if he was black, white, or Hispanic, it would still make other players mad. Just like any other workplace

  2. blueblood86 - Jul 15, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    There wouldn’t be as much hype if he was black

    • capbam - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      HA – He averages 9.8 minutes at Golden State w/ 2.6 pts and then the next year , plays great. Plays 35 games and gets offered 5 million a year. Think about your own job – new guy comes in , you have a better resume (more games played) and the new guy gets offered a MGMT job over you. Yes , he’s also Asian.

    • 6thsense79 - Jul 15, 2012 at 10:14 PM

      Don’t be silly. Before there was a cap on rookie contracts rookies of every color came into the NBA signing contracts that they hadn’t earned yet without ever playing a game. Those types of contracts did cause friction in the locker room and this is no different. That last year of his contract is rediculous. That is Franchise/All star money. I don’t blame Lin for getting it but my eyes kind of popped when I saw that $14 million third year. Without a doubt Lin earned that $5 million a year portion of his contract. It’s around the yearly average of what the top overall draft pick in the NBA would get and I believe he has earner at least that.

      But here are some of the upcomming season’s salary of some of the best point guards in the NBA

      Chris Paul – $17.7 million
      Russell Westbrook – $13 million
      Tony Parker – $12.5 million
      Deron Williams – $17.7 million
      Derick Rose – $16.4 million
      Rajon Rondo – $11 million
      Steve Nash – $11.6 million

      There is no point guard on that list that Lin is better than yet in his final year he’ll get paid like he’s in that category. (I’m not willing to argue this. I would not take Lin over any of those point guards listed) So I can definitely see what the issue would be in the locker room.

      • davemmm - Jul 16, 2012 at 10:09 AM

        A better comparison is to use the salaries of guys THREE years from now since he will make 5 million next year. Inflation. Childish jealousy. Timing was good for him.

        Houston has to make a huge offer to force the Knicks to hesitate keeping him.

    • beardown777 - Jul 15, 2012 at 11:07 PM

      There wouldn’t be as much hating if he was black either.

      Just saying.

  3. danielcp0303 - Jul 15, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Until the GM of the Knicks comes out of hiding…we’ll never know if they’ll match or not. Classy organization

  4. Gordon - Jul 15, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    I don’t know that I have ever heard teammates commenting on another (soon-to-be-former) teammate’s contract. 

    I personally think it is a ridiculous offer for a fairly unproven guy, but I think it’s worse that his teammates have anything to criticize over that. 

    BTW – You think the Chinese team JR played with was happy with how much he was getting paid?

    • camiller85 - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:12 PM

      He hot paid 3 million for one year. Which was actually low for a player of JR caliber compared to the players in the Chinese league. If Lin gets a 3 year 9 million deal (which is right about what he should got) there’s no complaint.

      • knightrider1755 - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:22 PM

        Yeah but they don’t play as many games in China as they do in the NBA.

      • Gordon - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:39 PM

        You seem to miss the point of my comment & conveniently gloss over the fact that the Chinese team was trying to get money from him because he wasn’t abiding by the terms of his contract (not to mention his sister slap-boxing people in the stands).

        Despite that, it doesn’t matter if you and I think Lin is overpaid. He’s worth what a team is willing to pay for him. I do think it’s reasonable to offset his contract by what the team feels it can make off of him (ticket sales, jerseys, etc.).

        I can’t blame Lin for taking the best offer he can get. JR did that when he went to China. I just think it’s wrong for a teammate (let alone 2 teammates) to comment about his contract like this.

      • badintent - Jul 15, 2012 at 11:58 PM

        Caliber ? Caliber ? The dude has the Basketball IQ of a snail.We got a hundred JRs in the Summer Rucker league in Harlem , jumping, jiving, whoofing clowns that wouldn’t know an X on a tit-tack game board. He can’t make a 10 foot jump shots, can’t play in the fourth quarter because of stupid reach- in- fouls or turnovers. His Basketball IQ makes Melo look like a Mensa genius. He got fined a $1million in China for missing practices and be lazy or late when he went to practice.He’s a fu*king loser and stupid. ! How much is he paying you to support his lower class primate butt ?

  5. roadwash - Jul 15, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Who cares what JR Smith and Melo say…..didn’t Melo just sign a ridiculous contract also?

  6. mshinson - Jul 15, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    “We all know how the movie is going to end — Jeremy Lin will be the starting point guard for the Knicks when next season tips off. The outcome has all the suspense of the old Batman television series endings.”

    “Yes, this confirms that the Knicks will match the four-year, $29 million offer sheet the Rockets are about to sign Lin to. That was never in question. Ever.”

    Kurt, what happened?

    • knightrider1755 - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:20 PM

      Don’t think so. This issue has caused too much of an uproar. I am certain matching Houston’s offer would cause chaos in the Knicks locker room for the entire season.

  7. smoothmwd - Jul 15, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Completely ignorant and uneducated comments. It’s strictly a business decision, nothing to do with race !! Show some couth.

  8. backdraft440 - Jul 15, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Who cares what Melo thinks, I’m pretty sure he was high as a kite when he said it.

  9. dysraw1 - Jul 15, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    that’s the nature of the business his agent did a good job going an getting the best deal available for his player the in return J Lin decides he wants to take his talents to Texas, now the Knicks have to decide if they can pimp enough to cover a 15 mil 3rd yr hole

  10. heathater4lifeson - Jul 15, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Lin’s iq > (jr’s iq + melo’s iq) x 2

    • camiller85 - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:30 AM

      What does his IQ have to do with the fact that he played like ass for Golden State, had a few hot games in a Dantony system that would allow anyone to put up similar numbers without a Carmelo or Amare on the court, and then get shut down and punked by Mario Chalmers….Your retort.

  11. jjordannba - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Lin’s iq > (jr’s iq + melo’s iq) x 2 > Heathater4lifeson’s IQ x 4

    • elComandanteenJefe - Jul 15, 2012 at 10:08 PM

      Lin’s IQ > His soon to be former Knicks, including the front office

  12. knightrider1755 - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Wow, that’s kind of tacky for a player to comment on another player’s contract.

    • elComandanteenJefe - Jul 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      It’s called hater… JR Smith just doesn’t understand that his dumb @ss has ZERO marketability for the likes of Nike, Coke, McDonald’s, etc. Therefore, if you’re not marketable, then you don’t get paid! In today’s business world, it takes skills and marketability (i.e. see Kobe, DWade, LeBron, KD). Any person who doesn’t follow the NBA has no idea who you are JR Smith. Actually, I follow the NBA and didn’t even notice that you had gone missing (i.e. heading over to China).

      • badintent - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:06 AM

        This just in ” JR went to China to ballup, came back with fortune cookie that said ” Thanks for the easy money Starbury , but I had to spend most of it on fines and bail for my momma going Rodney King at the games ” Too bad, I wanted 2 Billion Chinese to buy my shoes. What’s 1 billion X $ 5 ?… J.R.

  13. capbam - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    The pressure on Jeremy Lin to produce will make or break him.

  14. detroitcityryda - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    It’s funny how they’re his teammates and they are hating on him getting money I see NBA as a very tight black organization that looks down on white american/European/Asian players i see it only in nba you can see the jealousy /between top players just like gangs .

    • bigbamboom1 - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:52 PM

      You’re kidding us right? Except for Michael Jordan tha NBA is 99.999% owned by whites. Now thats a Gang, using your definition! Let’s jump over to corporate America who controls 99.999% of the jobs in the USA. Oops. That is 100% controled by whites through corporate structure or banks. Thats an even bigger gang using your criteria for “Gangs”. Suggestion to you regarding your ignorant, racist stereotypes. Get a clue. Does it act like an exclusive fraternity. Yes. So do white pro golfers on the PGA Tour. But I don’t hear morons like you calling them a “Gang”. Grow up and stop being jealous of them yourself.

    • phaden27 - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:53 PM

      Kobe Bryant sure doesn’t seem like he’s looking down a Steve Nash.

      • badintent - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:09 AM

        Not until the second week when Nash, leading the NBA in Assist, hears Kobe whining,” Why is Nash always throwing the ball to Bryum and Gasol for easy layups and dunks ? Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !

      • phaden27 - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:38 AM

        You’re implying a five time champion doesn’t care about winning more than handling the ball? Sorry I’m a Celtic fan and I know that’s BS, ala the artist formerly known as Ron Artest. Try again.

  15. deeballer - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Lin needs to go because the Knicks roster is so toxic. If the other guys get a ridiculous contract, they’d probably congratulate him. Since the Harvard educated Asian gets a huge contract, they are all outraged. New York overpays for everything. Been there lately?

  16. clippernation365 - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    JR Smith is just mad cause he signed for less than 2 mil a year

  17. elComandanteenJefe - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    JR Smith… another NBA player who thinks he has the right to an opinion. An opinion coming from someone who is not only a leader on their team, but also a winner. That last sentence has a VERY sarcastic tone to it.

  18. nokoolaidcowboy - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    JR is an idiot. And this none of his or Anthony’s business. Truth is Lin set a spark when this team needed it most on the floor and in ticket/merchandising. Something Carmelo and Smith couldn’t accomplish together!

  19. diablito0402 - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Melo never been out of the second round of the playoffs, im not sure he deserves a max contract either, just shut yer mouth

  20. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 15, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Again, somebody show me the concrete data that suggests Lin in NYC would recoup the money spent on the ridiculous contract…how many jerseys and how that impacts Dolans pocket, extra tickets (if they are winning, it will sell out no matter what), extra sponsor dollars, etc. Until then, it is just a massive assumption people are making.

  21. diablito0402 - Jul 15, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Earl boykins, and it took me a grand total of 3 seconds to think about it, he even got more than 25 mill from the nuggets, happy!

  22. thetooloftools - Jul 15, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    The New York Knicks PLEASE.
    If you get any more Diva’s in that locker room, they are not going to give out game balls, they are going to give out game tiara’s.

    • badintent - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:10 AM

      You the man !! funny, do some standup comedy ? You should !

  23. mcane88888 - Jul 15, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    JR smith is a dope, it would not go over well in the Knicks locker room. He is a free agent and should reap all he can get, it’s America. I think Carmelo should be traded and get a great player for him, Phil Jackson was correct Carmelo is a ball holder and can’t move the ball around, we will never win!

  24. deadeyedesign23 - Jul 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    They may not like it, but what it comes down to is a player is worth the money he generates. More often than not money generated is directly proportiante to the more wins having the players helps you produce, but Lin and his ethnicity are worth more than just what he does for 4 quarters every 3 nights.

    • fm31970 - Jul 15, 2012 at 10:29 PM

      Owning an NBA team is a business, period. WIns are nice, and being NBA Champions is even nicer, but if you’re team is making $50M in profit and you can add one player who boosts that profit upwards by more than he is being paid, it is a smart move.

      I think the Knicks have to pass on this one. That third year is just too much, an does anyone really think Lin is going to be a franchise player in three years, worthy of $14M? If the Knicks match, they have learned nothing from the last six years of mistakes they’ve made.

  25. aldavis4president - Jul 15, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    If jlin Waz black jr nd melo wud b praising him for “gettin his” ..with that said…dnt speak on other peoples (teammate) contract! I’m a huge fan of melo and Jr but this is just low. U got swept in the 1st round and your worrying about how much your teammate is making?? Ridiculous!

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