When Jeremy Lin’s season ended early because of an injury that kept him out of the playoffs for the New York Knicks, “Linsanity” lost a lot of its luster. But when next season starts, I would imagine it will pick up right where it left off. The question is, will that be in New York or somewhere else?
The Knicks have decided to let Lin, a restricted free agent, hit the open market. In a way that’s smart because it lets other teams decide what he’s worth and the Knicks can just match it, that way they don’t pay more than they need to. However, a team could offer Lin what’s called a “poison pill” deal, where the contract pays out more in the third and fourth years, since he can only make a certain amount in the first two.
“While any large four-year deal would be a blow to the Knicks’ finances, the way that this particular contract is structured presents even more problems. The team that signs Lin to that offer sheet would be able to average the cost over the life of the contract. However, if the Knicks match the offer sheet, they’ll have to pay the actual salary year-to-year, which means in years three and four they would likely be repeat luxury tax offenders. A large pay raise in 2014-15 would cause problems for the Knicks, who will already owe $61,537,876 to Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.”
We’ve seen that Jeremy Lin can fill the seats, but we also know he may only have the talent to be a backup point guard. The Knicks are still currently trying to decide what they want to do about Steve Nash. If they were able to lure Nash to New York, would it be worth it to pay so much for a guy to back him up? Probably not.
Right now, the Knicks are stuck between a rock and a hard place with Jeremy Lin. Since he can sell tickets, he probably will get a bigger offer than what he’s actually worth as a basketball player. So if the Knicks actually want to win and put pieces in place to be successful, they may have to let another team experience the “Linsanity.”