Mar. 14, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin (17) guards Portland Trail Blazers point guard Raymond Felton (5) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Good morning, friends. I just awoke from a dream that the Knicks completed a sign-and-trade in which they sent Jeremy Lin to the Rockets in exchange for Toney Douglas. I was so upset by the trade (which is not possible. You can't match and trade, for starters. There's no CBA in my dreams.) that the Knicks offered to let me sit on their bench for a game (taking place that day, of course) out of sympathy. Tina Cervasio pointed me toward the bench, which was occupied by a cornrow'd Iman Shumpert. Though I felt like I was being patronized with the offer, I obliged, only to realize at the last second that I was due in Las Vegas for Summer League. I awoke while hastily stuffing several pairs of shorts I don't own in real life into a duffel bag with zippers that didn't close.
So yeah, last night was bizarre and left me in a pretty weird mood. The big story right now, of course, is that the Knicks finally received Houston's offer sheet to Jeremy Lin. They have until Tuesday night at 11:59 to match it, and there are suddenly suggestions that they might not do that. Let us recap:
- The night's weirdness began with Mark Haggard, a South Carolina sportscaster, reporting that he'd spoken to Raymond Felton, who told Haggard he'd agreed to join the Knicks and would be doing so instead of Jeremy Lin.
- I and everyone else were like "naaaahhhh", but then folks started to follow that whole report up, and soon enough, the Knicks had agreed to trade Dan Gadzuric, Jared Jeffries (a UFA, but I guess it's a two-way sign-and-trade), and a 2016 second-rounder to Portland for Felton, Kurt Thomas, and the rights to two players stashed in Europe. Felton's deal has been estimated separately at three years, $10 million and at four years, $18 million. That trade is not yet complete, but should get done in some form
- And indeed, there are at least two accounts-- Marc Berman's, and apparently Jared Jeffries's on the radio-- claiming that the Knicks don't intend to match Lin's offer sheet. The suggestion that the Knicks are mad at Lin or Lin's people for leaking information about their intentions seems silly (everybody and their nephew knew New York's intentions), but one never does know with James Dolan and the Knicks. That just strikes me as a sketchy report. Either way, a number of other beat writers still say they'd be shocked to see the Knicks let Lin go, but shit's definitely uncertain right now.
- At some point, the Knicks declined to match Toronto's offer sheet for Landry Fields, but the news broke at a time when nobody really cared. It's been Landry, Landry. Enjoy Toronto.
- Frank Isola says this morning that Grant Hill met with and is considering the Knicks, which I don't believe because it's Grant Hill and he always says that. That would, however, nearly complete New York's collection of aged NBA players with Kidd, Thomas, and Marcus Camby already in pocket. Steve Nash is the elusive Mewtwo that got away.
- Our friend Jon points out that Hill and Lin share an agent (Lin's new agent, Jim Tanner). I don't know what that means, but it might means a thing.
- I'm gonna miss Jeffries a lot, y'all. It's exciting to have Kurt Thomas back to form a nostalgic bench frontcourt with Camby, but Jeffries is a wonderful presence on the floor and off it, and he had all this undue loyalty to the team that was really refreshing. This is now the second time they've shipped his ass out west.
So, the Knicks are left with a decision. Perhaps it's one they've already made. Are they suddenly feeling frugal/spiteful enough to let a 23 year-old point guard who is both quite promising and exceedingly profitable go only to replace him with Raymond Felton? Or is Felton meant to be a second or third back-up for Lin who can also play minutes as an undersized shooting guard (Jason Kidd, who's spoken at length about mentoring Lin, is on board. Howard Beck reminded me last night that the Pablo Prigioni signing is not official yet, so perhaps that could fall apart.)?
I don't know. All I know is to never feel certain about anything ever again. I'm pretty sure I said that like two weeks ago, then immediately made the mistake of assuming everyone was right about the Knicks matching Lin at any cost. We'll see by the crack o' Wednesday. For me, the Knicks opting to match or declines Lin will make the difference between joy and terror. I could envision the Knicks competing without Lin, but I'm fully convinced they're much better off with him at any price. However they're thinking now, they have plenty of time to change their minds. Let us wait and pray and try to eat and sleep and behave normally in the meantime.
Updates as they arrive.
Update (10:01 AM): Two thoughts-- not original ones-- that I had in the shower, plus a link from Jared Zwerling:
- I would put money on Jeremy Lin's next three seasons being better than Raymond Felton's next three seasons.
- I think it's safe to assume the Knicks are pissed off at the Rockets (and possibly Jeremy at his agent). What isn't clear to me is how they'd respond to that. Would spite drive the Knicks to call the Rockets' bluff and make them pay Lin's contract? (That, to me, would be a terrifying level of spite, especially because I think Jeremy has a decent chance of earning that contract). Or would spite merely drive the Knicks to leak false information about their intention to decline the offer sheet and wait until the last second to match? Eh?
- Zwerling spoke to Lin's trainer, who believes the Knicks will match. I think I should just stop obsessing over every source that says one way or the other, because those sources haven't been especially helpful so far. I'll try to make that the last one, unless an especially trustworthy guess surfaces.
Update (12:33 PM):
Possible details of Blazers-Knicks deal could be Knicks sending Kostas Papanikolaou to Blazers and $$ to help pay for Jeffries' $3.1M salary
This just keeps getting better and better!
Update (2:32 PM)
Source says indeed the
#Knicks second-round pick Kostas Papanikolaou is part of Felton package.
That just sucks.