Will Knicks Pass on Matching Lin Offer?
The Knicks officially have until 11:59 p.m. ET Tuesday to match the Rockets’ offer sheet. Sources close to the Rockets and (Jeremy) Lin said Saturday night they had yet to be told of the Knicks’ decision. But with (Jason) Kidd recently signing a three-year, $9 million contract and (Ray) Felton receiving a three-year, $10 million deal, the Knicks already have made a substantial investment at the point guard position. Matching the offer sheet for Lin also would cause New York to incur substantial luxury-tax penalties; the contract is structured to pay Lin about $5 million in each of the first two years and $15 million in the third year – the same season that the Knicks owe Carmelo Anthony $24 million, Amar’e Stoudemire $23 million and Tyson Chandler $14.5 million. Because of a loophole in the league’s rules, Lin would count a little more than $8 million each season on the Rockets’ salary cap, but the Knicks have to take the full $15 million hit in the third year.
That’s a sizeable amount to digest, even for one of the NBA’s top revenue-generating teams. Possibly as a result, the Knicks agreed to a sign-and-trade deal with the Trail Blazers that gives them Felton and forward Kurt Thomas in exchange for center Dan Gadzuric, forward Jared Jefferies, a 2016 second-round pick and the draft rights to two international players, sources said.