It appears Jeremy Lin is leaving New York, and for once, Knicks owner James Dolan has decided to put the checkbook down. By not matching a 3-year, $25.1 million offer sheet from the Houston Rockets, Lin is heading to Texas.
Dolan has a history of throwing money at his problems -- with both the Knicks and New York Rangers, which he also owns -- and this time, he didn’t. He just felt it wasn’t worth it, and I have to agree.
There’s no question Lin can play in the NBA and produce. His 14 points and six assists per game last season are evident of that. But still, he isn’t the only point guard in the league with those numbers. He was just one of 11 to average 14-5 in 2011-12, and he didn’t even play enough games to be a qualified leader.
We saw Lin burst onto the scene this year and drop 38 points against the Lakers, but are 25 games enough of a body of work to really give a player this much? That $25 million, especially if he’ll make $14 million the last year (that would be a $30 million cap hit after luxury tax), is a hefty, hefty amount.
For a point guard with a streaky jump shot and a knack for turning the ball over (he ranked 136th in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio with 1.71), a $30 million cap hit in any season doesn’t make any sense, and that’s what the Knicks were saying. Throw in the fact that the team just locked up guards Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton, and it appears the Knicks were ready to move on without Lin.
The team's management is finally putting its foot down and not giving into the fanbase and pitchfork wielding fans, but instead doing what makes the most sense for the future of the franchise. If the Knicks had done this in 2011 and not followed the ‘we need a superstar in New York’ mantra when it gave up the core of a budding young team to get Carmelo Anthony, the franchise would probably be in much better shape.
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