Good morning, my friends. That was a stranger, more unsettling Fourth of July than I expected. Steve Nash kinda ruined it. It ended with somewhere other than New York, which is a shame, but at least that's over, and at least Iman Shumpert is still ours to cherish. (<3 u, Shump. Get well.) Now, the Knicks must turn their attention to other free agents-- guards in particular-- and start makin' moves. Here's what's up this morning:
- Free agent guard alpha, Jeremy Lin, got his offer from the Houston Rockets yesterday. Marc Berman reports that the offer is for three years with a fourth-year player option, is worth "at least $31 million", and thus includes eight-figure salary in the third year and the option year (those years are poisooooon). If Lin accepts that offer (he hasn't yet. Keep that in mind. He could seek a bigger one.), it'll become a thing on July 11, and the Knicks will have until the 14th to match it. Unless something weird happens or we've been gravely misinformed, New York would definitely match that.
- So, Lin should be back. He needs a back-up, though. New York's purported first option for that role is Jason Kidd, but it sounds like Kidd is very close to re-signing with the Mavericks. This is fine with me. I didn't want to have to root for Jason Kidd.
- The next back-up option, it seems, is Raymond Felton. Felton's agent-- perhaps having scouted the league and found minimal interest in his client-- is suddenly trumpeting the li'l penguin's love of New York and forgiveness for the trade to Denver. Despite his reputation and his tummy, I love Felton (and his tummy). He was a fine Knick and learned to sync quite nicely with Amar'e Stoudemire in his time here, which strikes me as a virtue that wouldn't be lost just because there's a different coach now. Given the sorry season Felton just had in Portland, though, I think New York ought to be able to sign him for the minimum. I'm probably off on that, as Frank Isola suggests that the Knicks might like to acquire Felton in a sign-and-trade for Toney Douglas. As long as it's not MLE money, I'm cool with it, though losing Toney would sadden me.
- P&T citizen ColonelCool found this video of James White's highlights in Italy. I see nothing to convince me that he's developed much since leaving the States, though I suppose passing, defense, and mid-range scoring wouldn't make it into a highlight reel. Whatever. At least he can jump really high and far. If this ends up being a one-year, minimum contract for a garbage time hero and potential Dunk Contest participant, then so be it. For now, I hold out hope that the guy wants to reinvent himself as a defensive stopper or something. He's certainly athletic enough.
That's pretty much where things are right now. I'll share updates and photos of ducks wearing hats as they come.
Update: A photo of a duck wearing a hat has surfaced.
Update (12:11 PM): Interesting possibility mentioned by Alan Hahn (something a few commenters here have suggested):
Will be interesting to see if Lin decides not to sign offer sheet from HOU and Knicks sign him to similar money, without hefty backload.
The Knicks are limited in what they can offer Lin, so that would be a very nice thing for him to do, it seems. I don't really understand this stuff and don't intend to, so feel free to lend insight if you've got it.
Update (2:07 PM): Ric Bucher seems to think the Knicks are one of several teams in the running for O.J. Mayo. Not sure he's a genuine possibility, but there's that. Oh, and the Rockets just traded Kyle Lowry to the Raptors for a pick.
Update (2:23 PM): Woj:
Jeremy Lin and Rockets still discussing offer sheet, source says. They're working on the "structure" of deal. Knicks have right to match.
So...he doesn't have that offer sheet yet?