Cameron Larkin .com

Lin to blame for Knicks not matching Rockets offer

Jeremy Lin must take the blame for his departure from the New York Knicks and to all those who are condemning their front office for not matching the Houston Rockets back-loaded offer for Jeremy Lin must stop and read into it further. One word becomes apparent: Betrayal.

The undrafted point guard received a final offer sheet of $5 million in the first season, $5.2 million in the second and $15 million in the third from the Rockets. A “ridiculous” offer in the eyes Knicks All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony – an offer that if matched by New York, would’ve caused $35 million or more in luxury tax penalties.

Lin. After making $788,000 last season, said recently that he wanted to remain in The Big Apple yet signed the lucrative offer sheet with the team that originally cut him, rather than showing loyalty to the team that gave him his big opportunity. And an owner in James Dolan that told him, “We have plans for you.”

Knicks coach Mike Woodson reiterated the owner’s comment too saying, “You’re going to be a starter, you’re going to be a big part of the team.”

So Jeremy, my question is this: Why would you go sign the Rockets final offer sheet? You said to ESPN recently that the signing of Raymond Felton was the first time you thought you might not be a Knicks next season – I say, they were just making an intelligent and sound business decision by covering there rear both from a positional and financial standpoint.

I use the word “final” because Houston initially presented Lin with an offer sheet of four-years valued around the $28 million mark. New York continually conveyed to Lin that they would mach the offer, so I asked again, IF Jeremy Lin wanted to remain in New York, why oh why would he go back to Rockets management and sign the revised contract offer?

One could sum it up as simple as this – Lin backed Dolan into a corner demanding more money and on the flipside, Dolan felt betrayed and was content to not match Houston’s offer. As ESPN analyst and insider Stephen A. Smith wrote on ESPN.com, “He (Lin) is not Chris Paul. He is not Deron Williams, Derrick Rose or Rajon Rondo. He’s no Tony Parker or Russell Westbrook, either. Until further notice, he doesn’t even measure up to Mike Conley.”

Smith added, “Jeremy Lin is a slightly above average player – one who excels outside of conventional offenses, primarily when he’s allowed to run around like a chicken with its head cut off, and without the responsibility of being a floor general.”

I wholeheartedly agree with Stephen A.

Lin will take over as starting point guard in Houston, while Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd will be the top options for New York.

Enough of the past though. Here’s where it gets interesting.

Lin, who averaged 14.6 points, 6.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 35 games with 25 starts, may well be the attractive item for the most talked about player on the market, Dwight Howard. The All-Star big man has mentioned several times he would only sign an extension with the Brooklyn Nets and not with the Rockets. Will we see a change there? It wouldn’t be a surprise if Dwight changed his mind once again.

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