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Knicks to decline to match Jeremy Lin offer. He’s a Rocket.

Jul 17, 2012, 4:22 PM EDT

Injured New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin reacts during pregame ceremonies before the Knicks play against the Miami Heat in Game 2 of their first round NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoffs in Miami Reuters

Linsanity, welcome back to Houston.

As was expected in recent days, the New York Knicks have decided not to match the Rockets three-year, $25 million offer to Jeremy Lin, so he will be a Rocket, reports Howard Beck at the New York Times. While nothing is final until midnight eastern, the only way this changes is if owner James Dolan has a last minute change of heart. Which is highly unlikely. The Knicks are done debating it, Beck reports.

This is not going to sit well with some Knicks fans, who had a soft spot for Lin. After years of futility he brought a sense of hope and fun to Madison Square Garden that had been missing. He saved this past season in New York, sparking a turnaround (one that evolved under new coach Mike Woodson) that led the team to the playoffs. Fans loved him for it.

Knicks fans, if this upsets you don’t blame Lin, blame your own team management.

Rather than make an offer to Jeremy Lin and try work out a deal, they told him to go out and get an offer on the open market, but told everyone publicly and privately they would match any offer that came in. Woodson said Lin would be the starter in the fall.

Then the Rockets offer came in — $5 million for year one, $5.2 million for year two (the max any team could pay him those years under the terms of the CBA), and a whopping $14.8 million in year three. A “poison pill” deal.

The Knicks balked. They dared him to get an offer they wouldn’t match, and he did.

The Knicks looked at their expenses in that final year — Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire make $23 million each, Tyson Chandler makes $14.5 million — and they looked at the looming, more punitive luxury tax that will be in place by then. The Knicks said no.

The Knicks traded for Raymond Felton last week and we all knew that meant Lin was likely gone.

Lin will return now to the Rockets — Houston had him briefly last year but had no place to really play him on a team with Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic. They waived him and he found his way to New York.

Lowry and Dragic are both gone (Toronto and Phoenix, respectively). The Rockets will have Lin to run their point and be an international marketing phenom (something the organization has experience handling). However, having Lin will add salary and complicate the Rockets’ chase for Dwight Howard.

And Knicks fans will not have their favorite. A guy the Knicks could have kept with some up-front negotiations.

  1. 13fitzj - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    As a Knicks fan, although I did think that the contract was ridiculous, I am disappointed that they aren’t matching because we don’t know what we have and even if he’s not as good as 25 games indicated (again, the contract IS ridiculous), then expiring contracts are valuable assets anyway.

  2. rocketsbb - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    I didn’t really care bc I thought Knicks would match but now we’re gonna have a guy who hasn’t proven to be consistent.

    • xLith - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:38 PM

      Have you been watching the Rockets the last 3 years? They need to go a different direction. Up or down. As a fan since the early ’90s, I’m tired of seeing them sit ad mediocrity since Yao and T-Mac left. Either tank or get some names on this team. Time to bring the playoffs back here.

      • xLith - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:39 PM

        Sit at*

  3. dysraw1 - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    for about 10 games a phenom hit NYC the likes of which ive never seen not when had Spree. an Houston. not when we had Bernardo maybe has much hoopla followed Patrick. but this kid for 1 brief moment set this city on fire had us all tuning in like it was the super bowl or something i for one am happy for the guy an hope he keeps up the good work

  4. ebrownwareagle - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    If Mario Chalmers, can SHUT YOU DOWN! You probably are overrated. MONEY WELL SAVED!

    • knightrider1755 - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:11 PM

      Mario Chalmers has a championship ring.

  5. jayquintana - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Good for him. Trying to play team basketball with ME-lo Anthony is impossible.

  6. proballerslounge - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Knicks vs Nets

    • gmen4trophies - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:57 PM

      Knicks v Nets, exactly right. This does seem like the right basketball decision, but Dolan has abused and taken advantage of NYC fans since he owned the team–first with atrocious teams, management, and lousy basketball decisions, and then when he finally gets a .500 team he jacks up the ticket prices. Don’t forget that Lin rescued his sorry team from missing the playoffs. If the Knicks stink up the place in the first half of the season–perhaps lack of a spark at point, injuries, whatever–where you’d rather be suffering at the Garden or with Jay-Z in Brooklyn where Deron doesn’t have to make chicken salad out of chicken . . . anymore. Dolan you’ve got competition–we don’t have to put up with your crap anymore.

      • knightrider1755 - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        If the Knicks stink up the Garden in the first half of the season, you can kiss Woodson goodbye. With the Nets on the otherside of the bridge, any coach who can’t get the Knicks up and running will be shown the door in a New York minute.

  7. caldreaming - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    The Knicks evaluated the risk of matching that ridiculously overblown Rockets offer and, rightfully, passed. Anyone with an ounce of business smarts and basketball knowlege can see that Lin was, and is a novelty act. He had a couple of weeks of outstanding play, became the “best american born chinese” in the league and began to fizzle. Now with an injury to his knee, Lin is even more of a risk. Great for Lin that the Rockets are willing to take the gamble, which will prove be another huge waste of money for a mediocre player, Lin will be able to live comfortably after he flops this next year and fades into obscurity.

  8. papichulo55 - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Larry Coon, in an article in today’s ESPN Insider, warns that the Knicks might match. He points to the $50 million drop in the market capitalization of the corporation that owns the Knicks. He also explains a stretch provision of the CBA that would allow the Knicks to avoid Houstons poison pill in the event that Lin needs to be released.

    In other words, Stay Tuned…

    • knightrider1755 - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:33 PM

      papichulo55. Even so, there’s too much water under the dam in this one. The intense level of emotions is at a boiling point. People are mad at Lin, Dolan, the Knicks, the Rockets, the CBA, the NBA, Asians everywhere, the capitalist system and global warming. Lin should best move on and cast his net in Texas. Although, a matchup in the Garden between the Rockets and the Knicks next season can’t happen soon enough.

  9. nybri - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    I HATE Melo-ball. zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Knicks won’t get me interested. Another fan GONE.

    • 24thesho - Jul 17, 2012 at 8:26 PM

      I hope every time Lin plays against the Kinicks, he will light them up like hell and keep on smilin’.

  10. philliephaninva - Jul 17, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Sounds like the Knicks have more brains than money.

  11. j0esixpack - Jul 17, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    From a somewhat objective viewpoint, the Knicks got better at PG this offseason by trading for Felton and made a wise move not paying that outrageous Year 3 salary.

    Neither GM looks good given how this played out though… That was one expensive cut for Houston last season.

  12. hushbrother - Jul 17, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    And with that, I predict the Rockets will have the worst record in the NBA next season.

  13. namriverrat69 - Jul 17, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    I think Lin may surprise a lot of people.

    • saint1997 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:55 AM

      On that team though who has he really got to dish to besides Kmart?

  14. mrhall82l - Jul 17, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    He was exciting….. But 8 Turnovers a game and getting blown bye on Defense I won’t miss

    • saint1997 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:56 AM

      The glory support Knicks fans will dislike our comments but actual Knicks fans realise this was the only option

  15. jkaflagg - Jul 17, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Can’t blame the Knicks for driving a hard bargain when they knew they could get Raymond Felton as a back up plan…..

    Glad the Knicks flirtation with professional management has ended and they can go back to making those non-sensical, classic WTF moves we’ve all come to know and love…..

  16. chicagofan - Jul 17, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Orlando made the mistake of matching Chicago’s offer for JJ Redick and see what it got them/nothing. Lin is a fellow Harvard grad and I am happy for him, but he is never going to worth 5 mil not to mention 15 mil.

  17. vicnastee - Jul 17, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    It’s funny that no one has mentioned the fact that a C ertain P oint guard toasted to forming a BIG 3 of his own two years ago years ago hasn’t signed the three year/60 million dollar extension he was offered in L.A. I know he can get more money by waiting but still very interesting to speculate. But by not swallowing the poison pill and signing two veteran PG’s that aren’t going to break the bank, the Knicks have left the door open for the best Point Guard in the league to play next Melo (which he will be reminded of while they play together this summer in London). I’ll miss you Jeremy but I’ll wait for Chris Paul in 2013.

  18. diablito0402 - Jul 17, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    You guys hating on this kid are 100% idiots,, its a win- win for houston, if he plays well its a win, if he stinks , they will still make so much money from asia from marketing, smart move by houston, dumb move by the knicks, well, whats new from new york!!

    • saint1997 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:57 AM

      And we all know the only objective for teams is to get foreign interest from fans who stop supporting the franchise as soon as that player leaves

  19. Chris Ross - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    The Knicks were in a tough spot especially after what had been said out in public by players. It’s going to be really interesting to see how Lin does in Houston and what the subsequent reaction will be in New York among the fans. We all know the Asian contingent isn’t happy about this but if Lin doesn’t play great I wonder what they’ll be saying. Another fantastic story for another story-line filled season.

  20. shaft1234 - Jul 18, 2012 at 6:17 AM

    Welcome home Jeremy lin. I hope that you have a great season. Best wishes from shaft1234.

  21. deeballer - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    Michael Rosenberg from Sports Illustrated said it best when he wrote that Lin is being evaluated by conventional basketball measurements. He’s not a conventional person or player and you can see that throughout his whole career. How does a kid doesn’t have any of the tools everyone says makes a person a great player take over the NBA for two weeks with all his shortcomings? With all the big money being spent by the Knicks on those 2 guys, there isn’t any room for Lin there because the coach isn’t going to give Lin the ball and say go make the team better. He’s going to say take the ball down court and give it to Melo or Amare.

  22. Great Caesar's Ghost - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    He wants money and playing time; the Knicks didn’t want to offer it. The right move methinks.

  23. dardreamer - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    The very biggest mistake the Knicks have ever made!!!!!

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