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Report: The Knicks interested in bringing back Jeremy Lin

Feb 19, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT

Houston Rockets v New York Knicks Getty Images

New York’s desperate search for a point guard at the trade deadline has finally come full circle.

The New York Knicks interested in bringing back Jeremy Lin, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford talking with Bill Simmons on the Grantland Podcast (hat tip to Real GM).

Of course, the Knicks are interested in pretty much any and every point guard on the market as they see the slippage of Raymond Felton as a key problem for them this season (and it is, one of several but it is). The challenge, of course, is that the Knicks are not flush with tradable assets the Rockets might want, unless Daryl Morey secretly loves Iman Shumpert (don’t bet on it). Every team that talks to the Knicks apparently asks about Tim Hardaway Jr. but the Knicks are not looking to move him.

You all know the history that makes Lin returning to New York a story.

Back in the summer of 2012 the Knicks let the Rockets Lin from them in what was a rare prudent basketball decision by the Knicks — this was a poison pill deal with Lin making more than $15 million in the final year of the three year deal. (For the Rockets it costs them $8.3 million a season on the books, the way the deal was structured, but they still have the big payments coming.) Lin is good but not worth what he was offered.

Yet the deal was very unpopular with the Knicks fan base, which loved Lin.

Lin has settled pretty comfortably into a sixth man role for the Rockets this season (although he started 25 games due to Patrick Beverly’s injuries) and is averaging 13.3 points a game with a strong true shooting percentage of 58.6 percent, plus he dishes out 4.5 assists a night. He still likes to create with the ball in his hands off the pick-and-roll (22.5 percent of his shot attempts come that way and he shoots a respectable 46.4 percent on those according to Synergy Sports) but he also has developed into a strong spot up shooting, hitting 44 percent from three on those this season.

For the Knicks this deal makes sense because they get a point guard, the fans would love it and he comes off the books in time to preserve their 2015 cap space.

The Rockets are open to moving Lin to avoid that balloon payment next season, however they are a team playing well right now (seven wins in a row) and are going to need a real incentive to mess with their chemistry right now.

The real question for the Knicks is simply this one: What would Carmelo Anthony think about the deal? Everything New York does has to be seen through the “keeping ‘Melo happy” prism and this is no different.

This seems a long shot, with the desperate Knicks talking to any team willing to move a point guard but lacking the assets to really get a deal done with Houston (Daryl Morey drives a hard bargain). Plus, Knicks owner James Dolan’s MO is not to do the deals everyone is talking about, but rather the ones he thinks are a surprise (not usually a good surprise, but a surprise).

  1. chiadam - Feb 19, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    Do the Knicks have an actual plan, or they do they pull names out of a hat and go get that player?

    • time4complaints - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      Dolan is the Jerry Jones of the NBA. He thinks he’s qualified to make personnel decisions when he clearly isn’t. It’s always about making a splash instead of actually building a cohesive roster. That’s why the Knicks, just like the Cowboys, underachieve year after year…

      • spthegr8 - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:32 AM

        ^^^^ GREAT analogy. ^^^^^

      • justindad2 - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        Dolan, made decent business not NBA decisions, I understand why the Knicks want to get Lin back (forget how good/bad Lin as a player), I could see once the news came out saying ‘Lin will be back to NYK’, MSG stock immediately will up $1-$2/share in a day or 2, approx equal to $62mil to $125mil, so $15mil is nothing comparing with the potential rising of MSG stock value.

  2. thomaskouns - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    Ironic since a lot of Knicks players publically stated Lin got too big a contract when he left and said Douglas (who the Knicks would love to get rid of) was the better PG.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      I’m assuming you’re referring to Toney Douglas? Whom the Knicks already did get rid of?

  3. lastdukestreetking - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    The Knicks are in a perpetual Plan B mode of operation.

  4. phillysports1 - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    Jeremy Lin sucks, so are the Knicks .

    • davidly - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      CORRECTION: …so am the Knicks.
      Grammar matters.

      • therooneyskilledwebster - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        so be the Knicks ?

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        so do, mmkay?

      • jcmeyer10 - Feb 19, 2014 at 5:08 PM

        Linguo is dead!

  5. jtbsteeler - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    Another bogus rumor. People could say anything and it could be put on here.

    • jimeejohnson - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      Like the pea brain CantonPeaBrain does.

  6. discountdoublecheck - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    This will end well.

  7. TheMorningStar - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Toney Douglas, Landry Fields, Wilson Chandler..the Knicks are the Yankees of the NBA, they waaaay overvalue average players and then wonder why they can’t win witg them.

    Have fun in perpetual cap hell knick fans.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      Except the Yankees win championships.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:27 AM

        Past tense, similar to the Lakers but a lot longer time since.

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        Yankees won in 2009, Lakers won in 2010, very recently for both

      • spthegr8 - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        Ignore him. Just pointless rambling. Nothing of substance or value!!

      • TheMorningStar - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:50 AM

        Hahahahaha….excellent point, however the Yankees USED to win championships…won’t be seeing that trophy for awhile.

    • deavn - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:44 PM

      It looks more like they undervalue average players if you ask me.

  8. carlosmdiaz - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    The point guard has a crucial role in determining the teams playoff and championship success… thing is a point guard doesn’t have to put up amazing numbers as long as he gets the “job done”.

    There are many things that are not calculated when determining a players value i.e attitude, leadership, influence in the locker room etc …
    As we see in Cleveland they have great players (statistically) but their locker room demeanor, team attitude are poisonous to the rest of the team. That is why Deng wants out and they (CAVS) will never reach their true potential.

    Lin brought something amazing to NY and to the Knicks – he not only led with his words but also with his actions. I remember watching Jared Jeffries, Novak, Landry Fields, Chandler, Shumpert the entire team was playing much better – they were ALL having career years because they had one guy bringing the entire team together.

    Now the Knicks are a shell of a team, I doubt they would be able to even beat a college team.

  9. jolink653 - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Does anyone else get mentally exhausted being a fan of this team and watching them try to trades like they’ve been rumored to be pursuing? Being a fan of this team is like being that guy who gets followed around by a rain cloud over his head

    • mdobrasz - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      It’s even worse for me….. I’m a Knicks, Sabres, and Raiders fan. I’ve endured this sort of torture on 3 fronts for decades

      • coachjac30 - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        Anyone that makes the decision to root for those 3 franchises deserves all the torture they get

      • jcmeyer10 - Feb 19, 2014 at 5:17 PM

        How does this happen?

  10. breezespeaks - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    No way Marshmelo Anthony signs off on this deal.

  11. cruzan80 - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    Here’s what the Knicks “should” try in my opinion…

    Suns Get:
    Raymond Felton
    Tyson Chandler

    Knicks Get:
    Emeka Okafor
    Alex Len
    1st round pick

    Tyson would fit like a glove on that team & he’ll give them the leadership they need as a young team. Felton can be a solid backup for Bledsoe, assuming the resign him. The Knicks get a young center, cap space THIS summer & a pick in this year’s draft. This trade will not help them this season….but it will help them this summer when they attempt so resign Melo. This, would actually be a “plan” going into next season. Any trade before the deadline short of getting Rondo is just a waste of time. This season is over..even if they make the playoffs…it would only be to get waxed by Indiana or Miami anyway. Start making moves that will help the future & keep your star.

  12. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    I wonder if this has to do more about money then anything else. I have gone to 2 games this year. Last year I went to about 20. Unless its the Heat,Thunder or other top teams things have def slowed down at the Garden. All my friend who have season tickets are thinking of giving them up. They are losing money this year and half the time cannot sell the seats for face.

    Jeremy Lin puts people in seats…..Asian people that is….

  13. shadowgamesshades - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Any point guard is better than Raymond Fatton.

  14. mdobrasz - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Go home, Knicks, you’re drunk!

  15. majorhavoc83 - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    While I’d personally love to have Jeremy back in NY, he’s better off on the Rockets. At least in Houston he has a chance to be on a winning team – one that will be in a winning position for a while. In NY, he’d be back under the microscope and not earning much more than he is now; however, he’d likely take much more abuse from the press, fans and possibly his own teammates that thought he was being overpaid. Then you compound all that with the fact that the Knicks have to rebuild and get younger before they can be taken seriously (except they have no draft picks), and you have a recipe for a team continuing to waste time & money. If I were Jeremy Lin – and if he actually had any control over trades – I’d tell the Knicks, “thanks but no thanks”.

    • 1forest1 - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      I agree with you, but I can see a good opportunity for Lin’s career if he would to return to NY. If he does decent in the starting lineup, and the Knicks actually turn it around, Lin could be made an all star next year due to all the Asian voters.

  16. curttony - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    Fortunately for the Knicks the NBA has rules that protecta the team from making too many bad moves, they cannot trade first round picks in consecutive years. They have first round picks in 2015 and 2017. Thank you league office!

  17. phillysports1 - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Grammar don’t matter if we’re talking about the Knicks . 😅

  18. shadowgamesshades - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Knicks can enjoy being the New York Jets of the NBA. 2nd best team in New York.

    • cruzan80 - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      Yes, because it was the Knicks talked about being the best team in NY last season only to finish behind the other NY team in the standings & get ousted in the 1st round of the playoffs by a depleted Chicago Bulls team….right? It was the Knicks who signed 3 washed up big name players which definitely made headlines but has failed to get them over .500 half way through the season……right? C’mon man… must be from Jersey.

      • iamawesome2014 - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        Last year doesnt matter bro, THIS year does. The Nets are still looking better than the Knicks at this point. If the Nets go on another streak they can take the 3rd spot in the Eastern Conference….. and at least the Nets are willing to gamble on players who’ve had hall of fame careers….. the knicks gamble AND LOSE on scrubs all the time. Ask Allan Houston, Jerome James, Eddy Curry, Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Penny Hardaway, and now Amare Stoudemire.Lol….

  19. sportsnut101 - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Why would rockets trade him he can score off the bench n leads the 2nd team
    his numbers would be even better if harden wasnt the star there

    He can hit the 3 pass the ball turnovers are down

    him n melo didnt get along on the floor

    • itsjustlogicbaby - Feb 20, 2014 at 8:46 AM

      Rockets would trade him because they need a starting PG that can facilitate, play D against Westbrook, CP3, Steph Curry, etc. And that can get Dwight the ball.. As well as they are playing is still very evident they can’t get Dwight the ball. The biggest reason h he is tradeable is because he constantly turns the ball over in the clutch… In the last 4 minutes of the game he’s a walking turnover, he has been the reason they have lost close games and why some games were closer than they should have been. That’s why they were trying to get D Will… And if we can’t get Rondo I would definitely still go for D Will despite the ankle problems, it was this time last year he went stat crazy…plus Lin would still be headed back to NY and wouldn’t have to worry about chemistry issues with Melo if it’s the Nets. Win/Win

    • raycharlesj - Feb 20, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      You pretty much answered your own statement, Harden “is” the 80 million dollar Star there though.

  20. barrieja2014mamadou3688 - Feb 19, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    raymond felton worst point guard in the NBA

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