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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Jeremy Lin And Rockets?

Jeremy Lin And Rockets? - If the Knicks are willing to do anything to keep Jeremy Lin, they’re about to get the chance to prove it. Lin will meet with the Houston Rockets Wednesday and could sign an offer sheet worth close to $40 million. The Knicks, who will have the option to match any offer Lin agrees to, still believe they have a chance to keep Lin and add Steve Nash.

Nash, meanwhile, can cross Brooklyn off his list now that Deron Williams is re-signing with the Nets. It doesn’t mean Nash is coming to the Garden, either, but rather that Jason Kidd could be making a move to New York.

The Knicks’ point guard situation remains unsettled at best. Adding to the drama on Tuesday was Knicks guard Landry Fields agreeing to sign an offer sheet with Toronto, which in theory hurts the Knicks’ chances of acquiring Nash in a potential sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns.

Williams became the first domino to fall in the point guard sweepstakes Tuesday night, and Nash could be next, with Toronto and Dallas serious players for him. The Raptors are offering the Canadian citizen a three-year, $36 million contract plus the opportunity to work for the organization once his playing career ends. Dallas, however, can also throw a lot of money at Nash, a former Maverick who maintains a close relationship with Dirk Nowitzki.

If Nash signs with Dallas, Kidd may be the Knicks’ best option. There are reports that the former Nets point guard is deciding between re-signing with Dallas and joining the Knicks, depending on where Nash ends up. The Knicks’ only chance of getting Nash is via a sign-and-trade, and that was complicated by Fields, a restricted free agent, agreeing to a three-year, $20 million deal with Toronto. Fields would have been included in a potential sign-and-trade but he is no longer eligible, even in the unlikely event that the Knicks match the offer.

Iman Shumpert would have to go in a deal for Nash, and there are two major issues with Shumpert: the Knicks don’t want to part with the defensive-minded shooting guard, and Shumpert had major knee surgery in May.

A more plausible scenario for the Knicks would be signing either Kidd or their former point guard, Raymond Felton, as well as re-signing Lin, who is a restricted free agent. Because Lin is restricted, the Knicks have the right to match any offer.

Houston is limited in what it can pay Lin in the first two years of its offer, but the Rockets, just as the Raptors did with Fields, can back-load the deal. Lin could conceivably sign a Houston offer sheet for four years and $40 million, which would place the Knicks over the luxury tax, assuming they match the deal. The Knicks themselves can offer Lin only $20 million over four years.

The Knicks knew for weeks that Lin would explore his options and try to sign a lucrative contract. Although he has started only 25 games, Lin has become a marketing machine and he is looking to capitalize on his instant fame. Lin, who had minor knee surgery in early April, was thinking about his future when he decided not to play in the Knicks’ first-round playoff series. On Monday, Lin withdrew from practicing against the Olympic team in Las Vegas beginning on Friday because he is unsigned.