Knicks fans were ecstatic last friday when the NBA association dropped the appeal on challenging the Bird rights of Jeremy Lin. After defeating one block in the road to seeing Lin next season in a Knicks uniform, Knicks fans still have one other challenge they have to face, and that is to actually re-sign this restricted free-agent.
Many people thought that we could definitely sign him using the Early Bird exception but that still does not get in the way of other teams offering him contracts. According to NBA analyst Chris Broussard, Lin could be receiving offers in the range of $30 to $35 million while the Knicks could only give him around a 4 year deal worth around $24-$25 million due to luxury tax concerns.
Broussard mentioned that Brooklyn, Dallas and Toronto are interested if they can’t sign Steve Nash or Deron Williams. Offers by other teams are limited to around 5 million dollars in the first two years but after that, they could increase to up to $15 millions and that is way too much for the Knicks who have Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and Amar’e Stoudemire under their cap.
This would total to around the $75 million mark which even for a city like New York which is not afraid to spend money and go over the salary cap is way too much money.
It would heartbreaking to see Lin go after all Knicks fans have been through with Linsanity and the purchasing of millions of Lin paraphernalia after just half a season. Every Knick’s fan would love to see what Lin could do with this team after a full summer camp and when all the players are healthy again. Since it looks like no one can match the Raptors three-year, $36 million offer for Steve Nash (maybe Phoenix) and Deron Williams looks like he will stay in Brooklyn for the year, hopefully the Knicks could re-sign Lin.
The seedings in the Eastern Conference are going to be jumbled next year. The Bulls are without Derrick Rose for maybe all next year with a torn ACL, the Celtics still have not re-signed Ray Allen and have the oldest starting lineup in the NBA, and the Pacers may not be able to match the max contract offered to Roy Hibbert by the Trail Blazers.
So this leaves the door wide open for the Knicks, who with a lineup that consists of Lin, Iman Shumpert (out till January), Anthony, Stoudemire and Chandler (under the conditions that they learn to gel together) could be a serious contender in the Eastern Conference.