Remember Linsanity? It may seem like a distant memory to New York Knicks fans soon. The Harvard graduate and star point guard who came out of nowhere last season on the grandest stage in professional basketball — Madison Square Garden — might soon be a Houston Rocket. Jeremy Lin has verbally agreed to sign an offer sheet with Houston that would pay him a total of $28.8 million dollars should Houston pick up his option in the fourth year. The backloaded deal gives Lin $5.1 million in each of his first two seasons in Houston and over $9 million in each of his final two years. Some deal for a guy who — just last season — was cut by this very team (playing for well under a million a year)! The irony!
Jeremy Lin, though, is not an unrestricted free agent. As a restricted free agent, the Knicks can match the Rockets’ offer. The only question in New York now is — will they? Just yesterday, the Knicks improbably and unexpectedly landed Jason Kidd, an elder statesman of basketball who has been an NBA assist leader for many, many years. Kidd, who led the Dallas Mavericks to an NBA championship after leading the New Jersey Nets to consecutive NBA Finals appearances some years ago, is wiling to be Lin’s backup in New York. He even said that he’d love to mentor the rising star.
But is Lin getting this big offer from Houston on the same day that the Knicks signed Kidd a sign that the franchise is moving on from the Harvard grad who brought excitement back to MSG? We hope not. Jeremy Lin playing for the New York Knicks is good for him. It’s good for the Knicks. It’s good for the City of New York. And it’s good for basketball. Sign him, New York! Fork over the money for this Ivy League standout!