Excellent article clearing up misconceptions about Lin’s free agency process

Here’s the link to the article:



I’m posting it here for posterity. I love it when people take the time to clear up misconceptions in general. With Lin, there appears to be so many misconceptions out there. Clyde Style does an excellent job of clearing up all the false statements people have been making about Lin’s involvement in his free agency process.


Realism About Lin’s Free Agency Process

Postby Clyde_Style on Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:24 pm

There is one thing I believe needs some clarification so going forward people can be clear headed about who was responsible for what transpired during Lin’s free agency process.

Unfortunately, it is convenient for some to blame Lin for things he simply did not control. It is only fair to him that Knicks fans move on with a fair picture of what he is truly accountable for and not villianize him inappropriately.

There some basic facts that are being misinterpreted. These need to be stressed over gossip if you have any interest in being accurate and fair.

1. The Knicks could only offer a smaller contract based on base salaries rates and percentage increases that would be significantly smaller than a contract Lin could get on the open market.

2. The only way the Knicks could pay Lin what a salary in the price range he was expected to get was by letting him receive offer(s) from other teams and then matching it.

3. The Knicks could NOT pre-empt this process by offering something like $25-30M over 3-4 years without Lin getting an offer from elsewhere first. He had no choice but to solicit a competing bid from another team first.

4. There is no reasonable basis for any fan to claim Lin should have immediately settled for $10M less by simply signing with the Knicks and foregoing the free agent process. There is no precedent for this to support Lin was greedy. He was simply playing according to the rules. If there is any blame for him having to get an offer first and you need to point fingers, blame the CBA, not Lin and not the Knicks. They were just going through the necessary steps dictated by the rules.

5. Lin had the obligation to negotiate in good faith with any team that expressed interest in him. This means he had to be prepared to play for any team he negotiated with. Aside from some common misunderstandings about the technical rules forcing him to do this, the most common misunderstanding is this: LIN COULD NOT NEGOTIATE WITH ANOTHER TEAM IN BAD FAITH AND USE THEM TO STAY WITH THE KNICKS.

6. Because he was forced to go into the open market to set his market rate, Lin had NO CHOICE but to deal honestly with any team bidding for his services. This transcends sports and is a fundamental tenet of conduct business, while it is probably unique to sports in how the process puts the free agent in the middle between a team holding his rights and the need to solicit a competitive bid from another.

7. Once he enters this process with the other team, basic protocol requires him, and primarily his agent, to work under the assumption he may actually be playing for the bidding team and not his former team. He cannot undermine the bidder. The Rockets were bidding for Lin for themselves and Lin is required to allow this process to go forward. He cannot undermine the bidding team by playing footsie with the Knicks under the table. He is required to deal exclusively with the bidding team until their offer is made.

8. Contrary to repeated statements by some fans, Lin and his agent therefore have no right nor ability to simultaneously inform the Knicks of the negotiations with the Rockets. People claiming Lin owed the Knicks an on-going explanation is false as it is basically illegal.

9. Lin could very much have wanted the Knicks to match, but he had zero power to influence the outcome as some propose. He could not go behind the Rockets back to tell the Knicks of impending deals and then communicate back to the Rockets this would not suit the Knicks. This is beyond absurd. This is not only impossible, it is completely unethical, so anybody who still claims Lin was manipulating the situation to force a deal the Knicks would not match is not dealing with the realities of the process itself.

10. The Houston Rockets needs drove their offer terms, not Lin’s personal needs. To discuss this as if the Rocket’s motives were anything other than placing a winning bid can make it falsely sound like the Rockets were driven by additional motives such as screwing the Knicks out of spite alone when the facts are the Rockets calculated they could only place a winning bid by screwing the Knicks to the hot seat and pushing them too deep into the tax space to match. This is Houston’s doing, not Lin’s.

11. There is no basis for saying Lin told Houston their first reported offer was insufficient and he deceived the Knicks about the actual contract terms. Houston raising the offer is in no way proof that Lin was conspiring with the Rockets to not have the Knicks match. Again, Lin could not play one side against another for his purposes. He had to play ball with the Rockets and let the Rockets determine their own strategy best regardless of what it mean to his future with the Knicks.

12. The concept that the Rockets changing the terms of an initial verbal offer to a higher written offer is dishonorable is false. If there was a provision stating this was in violation of any NBA rule, then the Rockets would have been penalized, but it doesn’t exist. The Rockets raising the offer was a competitive business decision designed to win the bid and if anyone punked the Knicks, it was the Rockets, not Lin or his agent. Lin is not responsible for a change in offer terms, the Rockets are. Spinning it like it was is just gossip, not an assertion supported by the process facts themselves.

13. The Knicks were the vocal element in the market price setting process, NOT LIN. The Knicks made statements from Woodson and front office sources they would match any price. Why would they do this? Draw your own conclusions, but this was not Lin or his agent playing games with the Rocket’s mindset, it was the Knicks. If anybody is responsible for goading the Rockets into upping their bid, it was the Knicks leaking to the press their intentions. Lin’s intentions were dictated by the free agency process and by comparison his team kept quiet during it.

14. Therefore, Lin’s agent could not go back to the Knicks and inform them of the Rockets intention to raise their offer. THIS WAS NOT AN OPTION. So anybody claiming Lin owed the Knicks the courtesy of informing the Knicks of the Rockets change of game plan simply don’t know what they are talking about. This is not permitted. They had to do business with the Rockets first and then let the Knicks respond. Period.

15. Contrary to some comments, Lin was required to accept the Rocket’s offer. He was forced by the CBA structure to solicit a market bid for the Knicks to consider matching. And Lin had only one team making that offer. His hands were tied. He had to sign Houston’s offer and let the Knicks respond.

16. Lin did not have the ability to either keep the Knicks in the loop or request the Rockets make the terms less difficult for the Knicks to match. And he could not tip off the Knicks. THIS IS BUSINESS PROCESS, so please stop spreading lies about what Lin and his agent owed the Knicks as if they even had that option.

I welcome any clarification, but please use these points for sincere appraisals of what went done, not fantasies about Lin’s loyalty to the Knicks. He betrayed no one. He went through the same process other free agents go through all the time and he did it without any drama from his camp. The only drama came from the Knicks themselves, so don’t blame Lin for this.



It’s a miracle! Knicks Let Lin Leave.

Since the end of the season, I’ve been making a case on this blog that staying with the Knicks will hold Jeremy Lin back (see previous posts). So I’ve been very excited about the news that the Knicks have finally decided to let Lin go. I think Jeremy Lin’s God must have something to do with it, because nobody ever expected this to happen. It seems like everything about this kid is unexpected. Right now, Houston is still a team that’s in flux at the moment, but it appears that Lin won’t be facing any of the issues that would plague him had he stayed with the Knicks.

From the articles that I’ve been reading today about this big news, it’s pretty clear to me that Rockets management wanted Lin a lot more than the Knicks did. I think Rockets management have a genuine appreciation for Lin’s talents on the court, as well as his work ethic and everything he stands for–not just for his marketing assets. I can’t say the same for the Knicks organization. So I’m glad he’s at a place where he’s really wanted.

We’ll see what the Rockets team ends up looking like, but I’m very optimistic that Lin will have a great season (as long as he stays healthy). I’m sure he’s working hard this off season on every aspect of his game. He’ll need it, because you know he’s going to be a target this upcoming season–perhaps even more so than during Linsanity.

Here are some articles that I enjoyed reading:




Here’s an over-the-top reaction to Knicks not matching Lin’s offer by Lin’s number 1 Fan:

Lin leaving the Knicks would be good for the Knicks, Lin and basketball fans

Everything involving Lin this off season has been pretty much expected as far as I’m concerned, except for the news yesterday that the Knicks have acquired Felton. Now Lin’s chances of leaving the Knicks has jumped from 0% to something like 65%. Why not higher you might ask? I know there have been a lot of news reports saying that the Knicks will not keep Lin. I think at this point, the Knicks are still genuinely trying to see if they could make it all work by keeping Lin and moving Felton to the shooting guard position or vice versa. The marketing dollars that Lin provides to the Knicks is still too enticing for Dolan to give up altogether. However, if they’re thinking purely about basketball, then it makes absolutely no sense to keep Lin now that they have Felton. One could argue that even though they will have four point guards if they keep Lin, they’ll still have the same number of total guards that they had last year: 7.  But the difference is that the caliber of the guards is higher and once Shump comes back it will be a logistical nightmare for Woodson to try and get minutes for all of his guards. That’s going to create a lot of chemistry issues. So that’s why I say that if the Knicks are solely thinking of the game of basketball, giving up Lin is the right decision.

In my personal opinion, Lin leaving the Knicks would be good for the Knicks, good for Lin and good for basketball fans. If you want to see what Lin is capable of, then you’ll be rooting for him to go to the Rockets. If Lin stays with the Knicks, he’ll be more or less a glorified passing machine. I’ve discussed this at length in my previous posts, so I won’t go into it here. However, I will mention that my case has been strengthened by the point guards that the Knicks have acquired: Kidd and Prigioni. Both are veteran pass-first point guards who are brought in to train the scorer out of Lin.

The Rockets, at this stage, still has a lot of maneuvering to do in the off season. But it’s very likely that Lin won’t be facing any of the unique issues that he will face if he stays with the Knicks. So he’ll more or less have free reign to play his game of basketball. The only major concern that remains is his conditioning and if he can figure out how to play in different gears (something that Kidd mentioned he wants to teach Lin) so he can be healthy for an entire season. So if Lin goes to the Rockets, I think basketball fans will be treated to more Linsanity. But if he stays with the Knicks, he won’t be the same player that we saw during Linsanity, because Knicks just simply don’t need Jeremy Lin to go Linsane. Again, I’ve detailed all of this out in my previous posts. So go there if you’re interested in more of what I have to say about how Lin meshes with the Knicks.

Not sure how you all feel, but I’m rooting for him to go to the Rockets–both as a Lin fan and as a basketball fan. At the end of the day, though, staying with the Knicks won’t be so bad for Lin, since I think the Knicks have a good chance of making a deep playoff run this upcoming season, while the Rockets remain a wild card at this point. As I’ve said before, Lin will be fine either way.

SIDE NOTE: I’m really surprised that the Knicks appear to be taken aback by the Rockets’s new offer sheet. I mean, what did they expect? Lin is a marketing machine. I fully expected him to get this type of a contract. In fact, I was surprised at the lack of potency of the Rockets’s initial poison pill. The new contract is more in line with what I expected Lin would get in the off season. Those who feel otherwise, aren’t fully appreciating the fact that the NBA is a business, after all, whether we like it or not.

Related Post: https://jeremylintelligence.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/staying-with-woodsonmelo-knicks-would-hold-jeremy-lin-back/