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Knicks Will Not Match Offer For Jeremy Lin

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The New York Knicks have concluded their contemplation on the Jeremy Lin situation: they will not match the three year, $25 million offer sheet and will allow the point guard to walk to the Houston Rockets.

Lin’s situation was made difficult for Knicks management due to the third year of the deal, in which he was due to make $15 million, as opposed to $5 million in each of the first two seasons of the contract. According to a league rule known as the “Gilbert Arenas Rule,” the Knicks would have had to take a cap hit of $15 million in year three, whereas the Rockets only have to take an $8 million cap hit in each season, the annual average of the value of the entire contract.

The Lin scenario devolved in the media into a question of marketability against ability, with many (Bruce Jacobs included) stating that his value off the court outweighed the risk associated with paying an unproven player $15 million three years down the road.

Whether the Knicks made the right call or not is certainly debatable, but one thing cannot be disputed: Lin’s marketability off the court from a revenue perspective would not increase the Knicks’ salary cap. This deal would have crippled their cap three years down the road. For the first time in recent Knicks history, the franchise cared about their future. For that I give them kudos.

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