Note to Mike Woodson, don’t speak too soon.
The New York Knicks are not matching the $28.8 million, back-loaded contract offered to Jeremy Lin by the Houston Rockets, practically guaranteeing that Lin will not be a Knick next season.
After much hope by the Knicks fans when Jason Kidd was signed supposedly to mentor and fast-track Lin’s development, the Knicks suddenly signed former Knicks point-guard, Raymond Felton from Portland.
It’s hard to quantify the real value of either Lin and Felton in ter-s of statistics because both flourished under Mike D’Antoni’s PG-friendly offense, but the team is now run by a defensive-minded Mike Woodson, who’s shown time and again in Atlanta that they don’t like to run fast-paced offensive set.
In his single season stint with the Knicks, Felton averaged 17 points and 9 assist over 54 games as the Knicks starter. Lin averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists per game in 35 games last season.
However, Felton dropped to a 11.5 point, 6.5 assist player when he was traded to Denver, and subsequently, Portland. He was highly ineffective and didn’t really make an impact and wasn’t a good fit in Portland’s system.
If you want a statistical comparison between the two, it’s clear that Jeremy Lin makes more sense than Raymond Felton, as Ryan Feldman of ESPN explains.
The Knicks will already be hitting the salary cap with the salary of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler when Lin’s supposed back-end contract starts to kick in. Lin’s contract would’ve forced the Knicks to pay a huge luxury tax bill imposed by the league.
However, signing Lin has always been a check-and-balance affair in the financial statement as he is head-over-heels more marketable and profitable than Raymond Felton even if Felton costs half of what Lin’s market rate is.
It looks like Lin’s New York fairy tail comes to an end. With a huge offer by Houston, a team who’s more than prepared to take in an Asian talent in terms of promotion and connection to the Asian media outlet outside North America, Lin may very well have both his money and opportunity as well to flourish.