Jason Kidd to Knicks: Can New York Still Sign Lin?

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on July 05 2012 4:52 PM

The New York Knicks have come to an agreement with free agent point guard Jason Kidd, according to a report.

Most expected Kidd to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks, including the organization itself, but at the last minute Kidd decided to spurn returning to Dallas and opted to potentially mentor Jeremy Lin in New York.

ESPN reported that Kidd was close to signing a three-year, $9 million contract with the Mavericks, but it's unknown just how much he'll make as a Knick. It is also possible that it will be a sign-and-trade deal with the Knicks rather than simply signing as a free agent.

The move comes as a major surprise, but a necessary one for the Knicks after losing out on Steve Nash, who was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Knicks were extremely interested in adding Nash, but he opted to play closer to his children, who reside in Phoenix.

It will be interesting to see what impact Kidd's deal will have on the Knicks' ability to re-sign Lin. Lin visited Houston and was reportedly offered a back-loaded deal worth around $31 million over the next four years.  The logistics behind the deals provide Lin with $5 million in his first year of the contract and $5.2 million his second year. 

The contract then boosts his third and fourth year salary to somewhere around the $10.5 million range. 

The Knicks are put in a tough situation due to Houston's pricey offer to Lin.  Since Lin is a restricted free agent, New York has the option to match the Rocket's offer, but it would almost certainly create potential financial problems the next few years due to the luxury tax. 

Pairing Lin with a veteran like Kidd would make a lot of sense for the Knicks, but they simply might not be able to afford it.

The Knicks would likely turn their attention to Raymond Felton if they decide not to match Houston's offer. Felton played a single season with New York in the 2010-11 season, averaging 17.1 points, nine assists, and 1.8 steals per game. The Knicks traded him to the Denver Nuggets in the Carmelo Anthony trade, but are interested in bringing him back to New York. That interes is apparently mutual, according to Felton's agent.

He loved playing in New York. Our choice was to never have left New York, Tony Dutt told the New York Post. There were no hard feelings. Management handled it the best they could. I don't think they ever misled us and I never felt they wanted him in that trade.

I consider them definitely on his high list. He would love to go back. He loved New York and was playing at an all-star level.''

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