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TOP NEWS
LIN REACHED AN AGREEMENT TO RETURN TO ROCKETS
Tue, 10 Jul 2012 12:33 PM EDT

Jeremy Lin has agreed to sign a 4-year, $28.8 million offer sheet with the Rockets, league sources declared.

The Knicks have vowed to match any offer Lin receives to keep him. The earliest Lin can officially sign the offer sheet is July 11. The New York Knicks would have 3 days to match or let him join the Houston Rockets. Football spreads

Houston’s 4-year offer to Jeremy Lin incorporates a team option in the 4th year. He would make $5 million in year one, $5.2 million in year 2 and $9.3 million in each of years 3 and 4. The back-loaded offer is designed to hit the Knicks hard on the luxurious tax.

The Rockets’ offer comes on the same day the team reached understanding to trade point guard Kyle Lowry to the Toronto Raptors for a 1st-round draft pick. It also comes one day after the Suns reached agreement with Goran Dragic on a 4-year, $30 million contract. The Rockets stopped bidding on Dragic, refusing to go as far as the Suns did.

The Knicks have in public and secretly indicated they intend to match any offer for Lin.

Besides Lin’s guarantee as an NBA point guard, his capability to drive income for the Knicks both regionally and internationally is unprecedented for a player with such a limited body of work. Lin’s renown in the Far East could seriously benefit from him playing in Houston. The Rockets already are popular in Asia thanks to the career of previous star Yao Ming, who retired in 2011. With Yao’s retirement, Lin could add to their appeal there as the 1st American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese decent. His jersey sold better in the United States than that of each NBA player except Derrick Rose.

The Knicks recognize that whatever they pay Lin and whatever final luxury-tax punishment results from going so far over the income cap could still be really worth the cost.

Lin averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists before his season stopped with a knee injury in March.

Lin had been in the Rockets’ training camp in the preseason, stuck behind Lowry and Dragic. The Rockets cut him prior to the start of the season. After Lin exploded into worldwide mega stardom across one or two weeks with the New York Knicks, people wondered how teams like the Golden State Warriors and Rockets ever let him go.

“Even if he stayed here, we probably wouldn’t have recognized his talent as much as we should’ve,” Rockets GM Daryl Morey asserted. “He likely wouldn’t have played much at all, and then would’ve been released at the close of the year. I didn’t know he could play this well, and if I did, we would’ve kept him.”

Lin, 23-year-old who went undrafted out of Harvard, changed into a sensation with a remarkable stretch in February, scoring at least 20 points in 9 of 10 games. A high point of that span came February. 10, when he scored 38 points and had 7 assists in a 92-85 win over the Lakers.


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