After the back-and-forth discussions on whether or not to match the Houston Rockets offer sheet, the New York Knicks have made that decision quicker than many would have hoped they would.
According to Howard Beck of the New York Times, the Knicks have ended deliberations and will not match the three-year, $25 million contract offer, allowing Lin to become a member of the Rockets. The deadline to match Lin’s offer-sheet isn’t until 11:59 p.m. EDT, but apparantly the New York brass has made up their minds.
Posting momentarily to nytimes.com: Lin will be a Rocket. Knicks deliberations over.
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeckNYT) July 17, 2012
I have been on record saying I thought the Knicks took the wrong approach with Lin’s pending free agency from the start. Allowing him to set the market for himself
was the wrong move. had they come in with some type of offer from the start, this could have played out differently. Even if Houston still made Lin the offer, the attempt to show him that he wanted could have given the Knicks some leverage.
It has been a crazy couple of weeks it has been for the Knicks and Lin.
All along, everyone thought there was no way the Knicks would allow Lin to walk, especially after winning his Bird rights.
Head coach Mike Woodson said Lin would definitely be back in a Knicks uniform next season and went as far as naming him the starting point guard.
Then the Rockets made Lin a deal that reportedly included a $14.8 million salary in the third year.
With the Knicks are so close to the luxury tax line, they couldn’t match such a deal without incurring a financial penalty.
It just shows where the Knicks are right now. It wasn’t that long that long ago when they would have taken on any amount of money if they thought it would improve the team on the court.
Now, they don’t want to invest heavily in a player who has unlimited marketing capabilities after 25 successful games.
Knicks fans will be angry and disappointed at owner James Dolan. When you love a player, you love a player, no matter how many games he’s played.
Yet while the impact will be felt off the court, there’s no guarantee that Lin would progress to the level of player the Knicks need him to become. Nor is there any guarantee he performs at a level that warrants that amount of money.
On the court, the Knicks are in good hands for the short-term with Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd.
How the Knicks came from a team willing to match any offer for Lin to allowing him to walk in such a short time is a mystery.
Is their some resentment towards Lin for turning his back on the one organization that gave him a fair chance? Are the Knicks angry at Lin for not giving it a go in the playoffs when he said he was at 85 percent?
Whatever the reasons, if the report from Beck is indeed true, the Knicks organization has a lot of answering to do.
The Knicks fan base will demand nothing less than knowing why their fan favorite will be in a Houston Rockets uniform in 2013.
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