Jeremy Lin, the Knicks' breakout star, signed an offer sheet worth $25 million over three years from the Houston Rockets, which means that the Knicks have until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday to match the deal. While Knicks coach Mike Woodson said on Thursday that Lin would "absolutely" be the team's starting point guard (plus they signed Jason Kidd to mentor him!), last night the team made a deal to bring back point guard Raymond Felton. Dunh dunh DUNH. A source tells ESPN that Lin was caught "off-guard" by the news, ""He was very surprised. He felt the whole time that the Knicks would just match the offer."
Felton, plus center Kurt Thomas, is coming from Portland in exchange for center Dan Gadzuric and forward Jared Jeffries. And Felton told a South Carolina ABC affiliate that the Knicks are no longer pursuing Lin.
The offer from Houston is, according to ESPN, "worth a little more than $25 million -- $5 million in the first year, $5.225 million in the second and $14.8 million in the third." The problem for the Knicks: The Houston Chronicle explains it'll cost them them $45 million in both salary and luxury tax in the third year. But one ESPN source said last week, "[The Knicks] will match any offer on Lin up to $1 billion," and another source close to Lin points out that the Knicks make a lot of money off him.
The three-day period for the Knicks to re-sign Lin started last night, when Houston was finally able to deliver the offer sheet to the Knicks (the offer sheet has to be physically delivered to the team's management). Apparently the Rockets had been trying to deliver it since Friday, but the Knicks refused deliveries.
The Daily News' Mike Lupica thinks it's a great idea to get rid of Lin, if it means that the Knicks can land Chris Paul next year, "This doesn’t mean Lin isn’t a very nice, unselfish player and a nice young man with what is obviously a tremendous backstory just since he graduated Harvard. Maybe he can make the Knicks better next season than they were without him in the playoffs."