Mar 7, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin (17) during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-US PRESSWIRE
Posting momentarily to nytimes.com: Lin will be a Rocket. Knicks deliberations over.
Beck's rarely wrong about stuff. Again, it's not official, but this is Howard Beck.
Update (4:30 PM): Beck hedges his full report a tiny, tiny bit, and this is not official yet, but unless New York is pulling off the biggest and most thoroughly calculated bluff I've ever seen, this sounds done.
Update (4:34 PM): Al Iannazzone adds that the Rockets have not gotten word yet.
Update (4:40 PM): Ken Berger:
New York has until 11:59 p.m. ET to formally cut ties with Lin. While decision not unanimous, source characterizes reversal as unlikely.
Update (5:11 PM): Alex Kennedy reports that Lin's people still haven't gotten word.
Update (5:21 PM): Ben Golliver:
Owner James Dolan & front office have plans to meet after Knicks' Las Vegas Summer League game, which is currently in 3rd quarter.
Update (6:44 PM): Howard Beck:
Brief Lin update: Since posting story, I've been assured again that this decision is not going to be reversed.
I think this sucks a lot. As a fan, I'm heartbroken. As an objective analyst of basketball things (or at least someone who tries to be that sometimes), I think the Knicks are making a mistake. Even if Lin amounts to nothing, it has been thoroughly demonstrated that New York had nothing to lose but money-- not flexibility, not the chance to add somebody else of equal caliber-- in matching. The "poison pill" could have been obviated. All New York had to lose was straight cash, which is something they've have had no problem squandering pretty much right up until today.
So, as far as I can tell, this was not a financial decision. It was a decision based on twisted principles and feelings of resentment. It's not clear whether that resentment stems from the front office, the coaching staff, or the locker room (or some combination of the above), but that's the only valid explanation. Somebody doesn't like Jeremy for some reason. Given everything we heard up until this past weekend, that sounds like something that came to a head after the renegotiation of the offer sheet. (This is also evidenced by the fact that the Knicks just let him walk. If they had an inkling of letting him go sooner, they should have tried to get something in return for him).
As I've said before, I still think the Knicks should be a good team this season, but I think they'll be a worse one than they would have been with Lin as their starting point guard. Only adding trouble is the fact that Raymond Felton has to fill Lin's mythical shoes, a position that may generate some undeserved vitriol and make things tough for Ray. We'll see.
Whatever the case may be, best of luck to you in Houston, Jeremy, and thank you for everything. You were almost single-handedly responsible for the best two weeks of my life as a basketball fan.