Linsanity is no more. The New York Knicks have officially lost Jeremy Lin to the Houston Rockets, as a source reportedly tells ESPN's Stephen A. Smith that the Knicks do not plan to match Houston's offer sheet for the young star point guard.
The Knicks are still deliberating about the decision, some Knicks sources have said, but the high price of the third year of his contract pretty much seals the deal, Smith's source said. The Knicks have two days to decide what to do about Lin.
The news comes just four days after New York head coach Mike Woodson said Jeremy Lin would absolutely return to the Knicks as the team's starting point guard next season.
It comes just a few days after a Knicks source told ESPN that the team was willing to match Houston's offer sheet for up to a billion dollars.
The Rockets offered Lin a three-year deal broken down as follows: $5 million in the first year, $5.225 million in the second and $14.8 million in the third, according to ESPN. And now the Knicks are reportedly going back on what they've been repeatedly saying about Lin, and are instead letting him go to Houston.
But it's not a total surprise, as the Knicks made some moves in the last couple of days that called into question their claim that they would be bringing Jeremy Lin back as starting floor general.
First they picked up veteran point guard Jason Kidd, a 10-time All Star who led the Dallas Mavericks to an NBA championship in 2011, but who at 39 years old is showing signs of his age.
Then on Saturday, the Knicks signed point guard Raymond Felton and jettisoned Landry Fields in a major day of deals.
The Knicks announced Saturday night that they had finalized and agreed to a sign-and-trade deal with the Portland Trail Blazers in which they give up forward Jared Jeffries and center Dan Gadzuric, while gaining point guard Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas, NBA sources told ESPN.
The trade for Raymond Felton raised questions about what the Knicks planned to do with Jeremy Lin, who shot to superstardom last year as the guy behind Linsanity, the craze that swept through New York last spring as he scored 20 points or more in nine out of 10 games during a record-breaking stretch before sustaining a season-ending injury.
Felton played 54 games for New York during the 2010-11 season before being traded to the Denver Nuggets under the deal that brought Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks.
A source with ties to Jeremy Lin told ESPNNewYork.com that the acquisition of Felton by the Knicks surprised Lin.
He was very surprised, the source told the site. He felt the whole time that the Knicks would just match the offer.
So it is safe to assume that Jeremy Lin himself is surprised he'll be saying goodbye to Madison Square Garden. Seems like it's all just business for the Knicks.