Knicks nation is divided on how we feel about Jeremy Lin. We openly embraced him to be our savior. It was KNICKS NATION that coined the phrase “Linsanity”. Nobody knew who the heck this kid from Harvard was after being called up from the D-League. Yet as of today, he’s catching a flight to Bush International.
While many fans may vehemently disagree with the Knicks dragging their feet on matching Houston’s offer, we have to be honest about the business of the NBA. The Rockets deal that’s propositioned to Lin is backend loaded. James Dolan and Glen Grunwold chose to tie up nearly $60 million in Melo, Chandler, and Amare for the 2015 season. Add to that the deals Kidd and Camby will sign and it’s painfully clear that the Knicks just couldn’t afford to keep Lin. (without the hefty luxury tax of course)
Now that’s it’s official….
What void will he leave behind?
For starters, how awesome would it have been to watch Jeremy Lin study under the tutelage of Jason Kidd?! Lin is already a solid passer and can run the open floor (as we saw him do a few times). He also has great size and length as a point. But having Kidd teach him in the gym would’ve made him an incredible PG up against guys like Rondo and Wade. His lack of defensive confidence took him out of his comfort zone against Miami. But we saw how an “old” Kidd and company handled the Heat last year. Lin may have won financially, but he’s not going to improve any facets of his game in Houston.
1 of the intangibles Lin brought to the court was a sense of player unity. The guys genuinely liked playing with him. I hadn’t seen Melo smile that much since he got to NY. Lin’s a very unselfish guy and got everybody involved. Even Steve Novak was the beneficiary of some solid open looks. Although we’ve gotten Raymond Felton back in a Trailblazers deal, it’s not the same. Felton is a pretty good PG
(if he can shed about 20 lbs of fat) and he’s fundamentally sound. In fact, he had the best year of his career at the Garden. I just wonder how he’ll gel with this core of players, considering he got traded away to bring in Melo. Awwwwkward.
I’m in the minority that’s happy for Lin regardless. He did what every smart player does; drive up their worth while value is still high. Just look at the contracts that former backups-turned-starters George Hill and Goran Dragic got! Carmelo was quoted as calling Houston’s offer “ridiculous”. But is it really? It may seem overestimated that Lin will be worth $15 million in 2015. I don’t think so though. I mean, in the West, his only competition at the point is Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, and possibly Austin Rivers. The East is a much harder conference to play in when it comes to backcourt positions.
Where does this leave the Knicks? Well nothing’s changed. I actually think Lin staying or going wasn’t going to impact us in the long run anyway. We kept JR Smith and Steve Novak, added James White (who I’ll discuss in a later post from the summer league), and some veterans. Barring any injuries, I think we’re a firm 5 seed going forward.