Sunday, July 15, 2012

Knicks would be wise to let Lin go to Houston

It looks like the Knicks might be ready to say goodbye to Linsanity.

News came down late Saturday night that the Knicks and Blazers agreed to a sign-and-trade deal to bring the ageless Kurt Thomas and point guard Raymond Felton back to New York. This amid reports that Knicks GM Glen Grunwald was dodging the Rockets' delivery of their offer sheet for Jeremy Lin so the team would have more time to work a deal and figure out just what they wanted to do about the situation.

If the Knicks are, indeed, moving on without Jeremy Lin, it's the smart move. Granted, Lin brings back so much money in marketing and ticket sales, but what if he isn't as good as he was for that short stretch in February. That stretch where the team was constructed differently than it is now. That stretch where he wasn't competing with the vacuum of Carmelo Anthony and he could run Mike D'Antoni's offense as it was intended, the same D'Antoni who isn't the coach anymore.

Lest we forget that Lin is also coming off knee surgery. Sure, he might be a good NBA point guard but there are few believers that he'll be the 30+ points per night guy he was in the winter.

There are so many question marks surrounding Lin that it isn't worth the risk of potentially having to pay him almost $15 million in year three of this contract. In that year, the Knicks will also still be responsible for Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and Amar'e Stoudemire, all of whom make hefty sums.

Aside from the on-court and salary cap issues, too much has been made of "Linsanity" and his marketing stroke. The Knicks drew a full Garden through all those terrible seasons in the first decade of the 2000's and they will draw without Lin. Say he bombs and becomes a low minute bench player, how will he be marketed then? And does anyone honestly think he will be the marketing and revenue draw in Houston that he is in New York?

With Lin, there is too much up in the air to guarantee $25 million. If he leaves New York and really is that superstar that we saw in February, the Knicks will regret it. But if the Knicks spend all that cash for Lin and he isn't what all the hype says over the course of three years, it will look even worse.

For a franchise that's always spent the wrong way, the Knicks have to be conservative here. Even if it is "Linsane."

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

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