Knicks, Rockets Falling Into ‘Linsane’ Bidding War
Jeremy Lin flew to Las Vegas on Friday to sign a three-year, $25 million offer sheet with the Houston Rockets, according to a person involved with the negotiations.
The Knicks will have 72 hours to match the deal. It is expected that they will wait until Monday, a process most NBA teams use to make the offering team wait while they try to get under their own salary cap.
The Rockets back-loaded the third year of the contract. Lin will make $5 million and $5.2 million the first two years and then $14.9 million in the third year, which would make him one of the highest-paid players on the Knicks or the Rockets.
Lin agreed to sign the Rockets’ offer sheet more than a week ago after meeting with team officials in Houston. The Rockets first offered Lin a four-year deal worth $28.8 million. The fourth year of that deal was the Rockets’ option, which put the true commitment at only $19.5 million.
Earlier this week, coach Mike Woodson said the Knicks would match Houston’s offer. Woodson also said Lin would be the Knicks’ starting point guard.
With that knowledge — and the fact that the Rockets could wait and use the moratorium on signings to restructure their offer — Houston decided to put pressure on the Knicks by increasing the salary for Lin’s third year.
In the original offer, the Rockets forced the Knicks to match a third-year salary of $9.3 million. Houston now hopes the added $5.6 million in the third year will affect the Knicks’ decision to keep Lin, a person briefed on the negotiations said.
What is clear is that both the Knicks and the Rockets feel they need Lin, who averaged 18.2 points and 7.7 assists in 25 games as a starter last season.
Houston lost Goran Dragic, who started 28 games, to the Phoenix Suns. The Rockets also traded Kyle Lowry to the Toronto Raptors for a potential lottery pick, clearing cap space with the hope of adding Dwight Howard.
If Lin remains with the Knicks, their 2014-15 roster would have four players — Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Lin — making a combined $77 million.
The New York Times