Two weeks ago, reports emerged that the New York Knicks would match any conceivable offer given to restricted free agent Jeremy Lin, with some media cracking the franchise would spend as much as $1 billion to keep “Linsanity” in Madison Square Garden.
Head coach Mike Woodson, who from all indications was not as high on Lin as predecessor Mike D’Antoni, was even quoted as saying Lin would definitely be the starting point guard next season, an act of reassurance to fans concerned that newly-acquired veteran Jason Kidd would take over.
But as the offseason continued, that certainty started to melt away. Concern about whether the Knicks would put their money where their mouth was and truly match a three-year, $25.1 million offer from the Houston Rockets–with a “poison pill” third year that would have huge luxury tax implications–began to emerge through all major NBA media.
And then came the Raymond Felton deal–Felton, who played decently as the Knicks’ starting point guard prior to being traded in the Carmelo Anthony deal, was on his way back to New York. With a veteran superstar in Kidd and another reliable point guard in Felton, the odds of the Knicks spending so much money on Lin seemed utterly out of the question.
And it was–the Knicks officially passed on matching the Rockets’ offer Tuesday, meaning the Harvard graduate and media sensation will return to the organization that waived him prior to the beginning of “Linsanity.”