Everybody Loves Raymond After Knicks Lintervention
Houston, we have a prob’lin’! The past 24 hours has been an absolute roller coaster ride for the New York Knicks organization. Just one day after Jeremy Lin signed an offer from the Houston Rockets, which he heard from multiple sources in the Knicks organization that they would match, the Knicks went out and made an impressive sign-and-trade that brought former PG, Raymond Felton, back to the Garden. This surprising turn of events came as a shock to everyone, including Jeremy, who has stated multiple times that he wanted to return to the Big Apple and prove he wasn’t a fluke. Well, after the acquisition of Raymond Felton, it looks like the Knicks and the NBA’s biggest story from last season are going to part ways. Whether you were a huge fan of Jeremy Lin, like myself, or you thought he was a one-hit-wonder, the decision by the Knicks to let him leave was a smart one.
No one can deny the positive impact that Lin made not only for the Knicks organization but for the entire NBA last season, but the offer the Houston made to him was way more than he was worth. Even the Knicks, who spend money without thinking all the time, was able to see that it did not make sense, monetarily speaking, to retain Lin and his massive contract. The deal was for nearly $25 million over a 3 year span, but $15 million of that would be paid in the 2014-15 season. The problem with that deal is that the Knicks would be so far over the cap that the luxury tax would make Lin’s deal in his final season worth upwards of $30 million. That number is absolutely astronomical and no PG in the NBA is worth it.
I loved the Lin story in New York and I would have enjoyed seeing it come to fruition over the next couple of years, but I have to admit that I am very happy the Knicks are finally making winning decisions rather than publicity building ones. No one can say whether or not Jeremy will be a better player than Raymond Felton or not, but what I can guarantee is that no matter how well Lin plays he will never be worth what Houston is paying him. Lin can be great, but with Felton you know exactly what you are getting.
Felton was the Knicks starting PG for half of the 2010-11 season before he was one of the four players traded to Denver for the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony. While Raymond was with the Knicks, they were an above .500 team and Amare Stoudemire was playing his best basketball EVER! Felton was one of the main reasons that Amare was able to go on his franchise best 8-games with 30 points or more streak. No one wanted to see Felton leave, but no one could dispute the pick up of Anthony as the right decision. The two are now united in what is coming together as one of the better and more experienced teams in the NBA.
The Knicks recent offseason acquisitions should draw much different sponsors, like AARP, Depends and Viagra, because their roster is filled with a bunch of aged veterans. Kurt Thomas, turning 40 in October and currently the oldest player in the NBA, Jason Kidd (39), and Marcus Camby (38), represent some of the new, but very old, Free Agent pickups during this offseason. On top of those dinosaurs, the Knicks are the front runner’s to acquire the second oldest player in the NBA, Grant Hill. With Lin out and Felton in, this group of veteran’s look poised to compete with the best-of-the-best.
Coach Woodson, who just 3 days ago guaranteed Lin would return to the Knicks, says that they have built a win now team. That hasn’t been the thought since their 99-00 team that went to the NBA Finals, coincidentally featuring Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby in their primes. Maybe the Knicks can convince their assistant GM, Allan Houston, to suit back up and make a call to former teammate Latrell Spreewell, so they can have a 99-00 reunion.
There is no denying that the Knicks have made some unconventional but possibly great moves this offseason. Without question, the Knicks have one of the deeper teams in the entire NBA and they now have the proper championship experience that is required to win. Let’s just hope that they work on their player’s not making bonehead moves during their free time like Jason Kidd did last night while getting into a car accident and then arrested on a DWI in the Hamptons.
Farewell to Jeremy Lin and hello to a new Knicks look that can hopefully bring winning back to NY.