The Knicks starting backcourt for much of last season could be on its way out of New York.
Landry Fields has reached a verbal agreement with the Raptors to sign a three-year offer sheet worth $20 million. The Knicks are unlikely to match Toronto's offer.
Now, it seems there's at least a chance of Jeremy Lin not returning to the Big Apple. According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, the point guard will visit the Rockets on Wednesday.
Houston has reportedly moved on from trying to re-sign point guard Goran Dragic. He's looking to make about $10 million a year, which the Rockets are unwilling to give him. Dragic has started just 36 career games in four NBA seasons.
Lin is a restricted free agent and is exploring the open market after he burst onto the scene a few months ago. He averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in 35 games. Lin finished the year on the disabled list after tearing the meniscus in his left knee.
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New York has the ability to match any offer Lin receives. They are restricted to giving him $24.5 million over four years, but can match any offer from a team that exceeds that limit.
If Lin is serious about looking at options outside of New York, there's a decent chance he could have a new home for the 2012-13 Season. The Knicks are expected to match whatever Lin is offered, but the price could be too high for them.
Broussard points out that a back-loaded contract could cause the Knicks to think twice about bringing back Lin.
The Knicks can offer Lin a four-year deal worth $24.5 million. But an opposing team can offer Lin a poison pill that could go as high as $40 million over four years. Such a contract would pay Lin $5 million in each of the first two years and then go as high as $15 million in each of the last two years.
Matching such a contract would give the Knicks four players - Lin, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler - making more than $14 million in the 2014-2015 season. Those four players alone would have a combined salary of $72 million, nearly $2 million above the luxury tax.
It's unknown if the Rockets would be willing to give Lin that much money, but it's not out of the question. Lin had the highest selling jersey in the NBA for much of the time he was in the Knicks starting lineup. The point guard's value off the court could earn him a lucrative contract.
If the Knicks are able to land a point guard in free agency, like Steve Nash, they may feel they can afford to let Lin go.
Lin can't officially sign an offer sheet from another team until July 11.