The Knicks are reportedly ready to match the Rockets’ offer of four-years, $28.5 million that is heavily back-loaded for the final two seasons.
Well, that takes care of that. The move effectively puts a bow on much of what the Knicks were planning to do this off-season. They still have some wiggle room in terms of bringing back important pieces like J.R. Smith and Steve Novak. But, it makes lateral moves on the free agent market for players like O.J. Mayo and Marcus Camby very difficult, unless they’re willing to play at extreme discounts.
As we’ve said many times before, this is a move the Knicks had to make, in terms of matching any offer sheets for Lin. There weren’t any options that compared to Lin’s potential, even if you view him as raw and unproven. No other point guard available has the ability or ceiling to bring the Knicks to new heights competitively.
With this deal, however, if the Knicks ever want to try and acquire a player like a Chris Paul in next year’s off-season, it’ll have to be done creatively through a sign-and-trade that likely includes Jeremy Lin. If the Knicks feel that after next season, they need to improve from Lin-sanity, well, they’ll have to find a team that still believes in him.
They’re going to be locked in, just like they are for the Big Three of Amar’e, Melo and Chandler. These are the weapons the Knicks are going to go to war with. This is our Big Four.
Time for them to put up, or shut up.