After a few days of surprise wheeling and dealing around the NBA, Jeremy Lin has verbally agreed to sign a four-year, $28.9 million offer sheet with the Houston Rockets. The deal is worth $10.2 million over the first two seasons and $9.3 million in each of the last two years (the fourth season is a team option). And this all but guarantees that Jeremy Lin will sign a four-year, $28.9 million contract with the Knicks—unless James Dolan pulls a James Dolan, of course.
Sources around the league have stated that it's almost unthinkable the Knicks won't match the offer within three days of Lin signing on July 11. The team had previously decided not to offer Lin a contract directly, and instead let the market decide his value. And despite only playing in 35 games (25 starts) last season, he was rewarded very, very handsomely—considering his off-the-court rise to fame, and how much money he made the Knicks and MSG after his ascendance, this was a no-brainer. As ESPN's Marc Stein put it, the Knicks would have matched "any offer on Lin up to 1 billion dollars."
And the Rockets offer turned out to not even be that bad—the Knicks had feared they would give Lin a "poison pill" deal worth up to $40 million, with the salary backloaded on the last two years. As it is, the Knicks will be at least $5 million over the luxury tax in the 2014-2015 season. On the plus side, the Knicks still have a sign-and-trade that's worth about $6 million, which means they'll likely try to pursue one more player this off-season—the team has reportedly shown interest in O.J. Mayo and Randy Foye.