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.