Marc Spears at Yahoo!
Knicks spokesman confirms that Jeremy Lin’s offer sheet will not be matched. @JLin7 is now officially a Rocket.
A few thoughts…
It really has to be Dolan, because Grunwald would not have let it get to this point. Going into the offseason, the odds of Lin getting a deal with a “poison pill” third year had to be high. Once Asik specifically got one of those deals, the Knicks absolutely had to know it was a possibility. Therefore, if they knew Houston was interested and the Knicks were planning on letting Lin go if there was a poison pill third year, they would have offered him to Houston in a sign and trade for the MAX that the Knicks were able to pay (4 years/$24 million). Houston would obviously not outbid that contract, seeing as how this way they’d be guaranteed to get Lin (and at a lower salary, even). So the Knicks would then get something, even if it was, like, a first rounder three years from now or whatever (or hell, a couple of second rounders).
That they didn’t do that sure does suggest that the Knicks knew about the likelihood of the poison pill and still planned on matching.
Until Dolan got involved, of course. And he did not like Lin’s tactics.
So with that said, I think it is fair to say that if Lin’s priority was only on being a Knick, then yes, he never should have accepted a contract with a poison pill in it. So it is fair to note that he likely did know that there was a chance that he’d end up in Houston and I am sure he had no real problem with that, while clearly preferring to remain a Knick.
It is quite literally the exact same thing that Melo did with the Knicks back in 2011. If his only priority was being a Knick, then Melo would have told other teams that he would only sign an extension with the Knicks. He did not. Like Lin, he was clearly willing to go to another team if that is what happened, while he clearly preferred to end up as a Knick. I know I doubted at the time whether Melo would have followed through on his threat if the Knicks had refused to up their offer, but it is fair to say that publicly he would not rule out playing for the Nets and that uncertainty led to the Knicks giving up much more than teams typically give up in trades involving free agents to be.
I made a point of saying at the time that I was fine with Melo’s tactics back in 2011 and I am fine with Lin’s tactics here. The idea that Dolan was (and many, many reporters were) okay with Melo’s tactics in 2011 while condemning Lin’s tactics in 2012 irk me.