Via New York Post
LAS VEGAS — Linsanity got his money, but it looks like it won’t be from the Knicks.
In a stunning turn of events in the past 24 hours, the Knicks agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Trail Blazers to obtain former Knicks point guard Raymond Felton that all but ends the Jeremy Lin era prematurely and bitterly, according to league sources.
Linsanity was fun while it lasted.
One NBA source insisted the Knicks, with Felton’s addition, will not match Lin’s new, ramped-up $25 millionoffer sheet from the Rockets. The Knicks will have three days to reconsider amid a potential backlash.
In the trade, the Knicks got even older, adding another former Knick, Kurt Thomas, 39. Knicks free agent Jared Jeffries was signed in the deal and shipped to Portland in the package, along with Dan Gadzuric’s non-guaranteed $1.4 million contract.
The Post reported on its back page Saturday the Knicks were furious the Rockets changed the offer sheet for Lin and upgraded it to a $25 million guarantee over three years, according to a source. The Knicks were bitter because they told Lin immediately the club would match the original offer and Lin apparently shared the information with the Rockets. Lin and Houston then plotted to redo it.
Lin secretly flew into Las Vegas without informing the Knicks to renegotiate the contract and sign it.
The Knicks had been set to match Lin’s original offer sheet of four years, $28.9 million that had a $19 million guarantee before the Rockets threw a financial curveball that called for a $15 million third year that would have doomed owner James Dolan’s luxury-tax predicament.
So this likely ended the Knicks’ endless blabber across the past two months, swearing they would bring Lin back and that he was a “big part” of “what we’re trying to do,’’ as coach Mike Woodson put it three days ago.
The Knicks also would lose out on continuing to promote a global marketing sensation.
Lin also may be a young point guard with an All-Star future, but apparently Knicks officials didn’t think so. There was concern Lin’s success was a function of former coach Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo offense and would not be as effective in Woodson’s isolation sets. Plus, Woodson does not like playing young players and Lin was coming off knee surgery that cut short his historic 26-game surge.
The Knicks had brought in Jason Kidd to be Lin’s mentor and Spanish League veteran Pablo Prigioni as another backup at the point. The 24-year-old undrafted Harvard point guard apparently had not earned the Knicks’ full confidence he was ready for a full-time starting role next season.