Count me among those confused about the Knicks' decision not to match the Rockets' offer sheet to Jeremy Lin. While the $14.9MM 2014/15 cap hit would have been a bitter pill to swallow, there were ways around it, whether it meant trying to trade Lin's expiring contract or waiving him using the stretch provision. Considering the Knicks were willing to commit money to Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, and Steve Novak for 2014/15, it seems odd that the team would draw the line for Lin, the only player in that group that will still be in his prime by that point.
Of course, everyone else has an opinion on how Lin's free agency played out, so let's round up some of the reactions and the fallout to the point guard's $25.1MM deal with the Rockets....
- The Knicks were considering matching Houston's offer sheet for Lin while also working on a contingency plan to potentially flip him to another team, according to SI.com's Sam Amick. I believe players whose offer sheets are matched can't be dealt for a year without their approval, so that scenario would have been complicated.
- Jay Caspian Kang of Grantland.com tries to make sense of the Knicks' decision, concluding that James Dolan was dealt a great hand and folded it.
- Lin's departure was a surprise to his former coach and teammates, according to an Associated Press report (link via New York Times).
- Before reports began to surface indicating the Knicks may not match Houston's offer, Lin never considered he wouldn't be returning to New York, says Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.
- Ken Berger of CBSSports.com expects the Lin debate to eventually turn into a question of whether the Rockets were right to offer such a big contract, rather than whether the Knicks were right not to match it.
- The Knicks picked a bad time to start being frugal, writes John Hollinger in an Insider piece for ESPN.com.
- Tommy Beer of HoopsWorld breaks down the timeline of Lin's 2012, noting that the only rational argument against matching the offer sheet has little to do with on-court considerations.
- While the Knicks were angry at the Rockets for changing the reported terms of Lin's offer sheet, the team isn't upset with Lin, recognizing that he went after what could be his last chance at a big payday, says Marc Berman of the New York Post (Sulia link).
- Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post argues that the decision needs to put in perspective, pointing out that the team still has its best player in the fold.
- Lin's departure likely won't impact Madison Square Garden's stock as much as people expect, writes Christian Red of the New York Daily News.