Kevin Martin doesn’t even remember Jeremy Lin being in training camp with the Rockets last December. Seven months later, Lin is returning to Houston and he’s a lot richer for it.
Lin officially rejoined the Houston Rockets after the N.Y Knicks declined to match the 3-year, $25 million offer sheet he signed with Houston. The Rockets waived Lin just before the start of last season, and he went on to become one of sports’ biggest stories during a striking 3-week run as the Knicks’ starting point guard. Baseball betting lines
Lin became the N.Y Knicks’ starting point guard after injuries to squad forced him into the lineup. He led N.Y to 7 straight. His striking 3-week stretch included a 38-point performance against the L.A Lakers and a game-winning 3-pointer at Toronto. The sports world was rapidly swept up with “Linsanity,” till Lin’s season stopped with a knee injury.
Lin was a restricted free agent, but was powerfully expected to return to the Knicks no matter what offer he received. The Rockets cleverly put together an offer sheet that includes a $15 million income in the 3rd year of the deal. New York would have sustained substantial luxury-tax penalties matching the deal as the team owes Carmelo Anthony $24 million, Amar’e Stoudemire $23 million and Tyson Chandler $14.5 million that very same season.
Because of a loophole in the league’s rules, Lin would count a little more than $8 million each season on the Rockets’ income cap, but the Knicks have to take the full $15 million hit in the 3rd year. Lin made $762,195 last season.
Lin was also cut by the Warriors in December. Now, he returns to Houston as a star who will be required to become the face of Yao Ming’s former organization. Houston ranked 22nd in the NBA attending last season, and Lin could help put fans in the seats.
“The fans welcomed Yao,” Martin announced. “They come from the same background. He’ll be equally as exciting as he was in N.Y. Houston is going to embrace him and expect a lot from him.”
Basketball-wise, Houston seems to be a better fit than N.Y for Lin. He averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in 35 games with the Knicks. The majority of that achievement came under Coach Mike D’Antoni, who was fired on March 14. Knicks coach Mike Woodson never showed the same self-confidence in Lin. The Knicks also acquired vet point guards Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton this offseason.
The Rockets run a lot of pick-and-roll plays that were key to Lin’s success in N.Y under D’Antoni. Martin believes that Lin will flourish in Coach Kevin McHale’s offense.
“I think he will bring what he probably did in N.Y to the Rockets,” Martin related. “He was great in pick-and-rolls and getting his [big men] concerned, kind of like what [Steve] Nash did in Phoenix. When you play next to a shooting guard who doesn’t need to be dribbling to be effective, point guards love playing with big time scorers like that.”