Knicks trading for Felton, possibly ending Linsanity

Linsanity is over in New York. Or is it?

We’ll know for certain within the next 72 hours.

With Lin signing a backloaded $25 million, three-year offer sheet with the Houston Rockets, the Knicks have gone out and found themselves a replacement — or a sidekick — for Lin, depending on who you want to believe.

That player is Raymond Felton, who will return to New York along with center Kurt Thomas in a sign-and-trade deal with the Portland Trail Blazers for Jared Jeffries, Dan Gadzuric and a second-round draft pick — and possibly more. (Felton was dealt to Denver two years ago as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal.)

Marc Berman of the New York Post said the recent developments “all but end the Jeremy Lin era prematurely and bitterly,” citing a source who insisted the Knicks will not match the offer sheet Lin renegotiated with the Rockets after New York told the point guard/global sensation they would.

Today’s back page of the New York Post

“The Knicks were furious the Rockets changed the offer sheet for Lin and upgraded it to a $25 million guarantee over three years, according to a source,” Berman wrote. “The Knicks were bitter because they told Lin immediately the club would match the original offer and Lin apparently shared the information with the Rockets. Lin and Houston then plotted to redo it. Lin secretly flew into Las Vegas without informing the Knicks to renegotiate the contract and sign it. The Knicks had been set to match Lin’s original offer sheet of four years, $28.9 million that had a $19 million guarantee before the Rockets threw a financial curveball that called for a $15 million third year that would have doomed owner James Dolan’s luxury-tax predicament. So this likely ended the Knicks’ endless blabber across the past two months, swearing they would bring Lin back and that he was a “big part” of “what we’re trying to do,’’ as coach Mike Woodson put it three days ago.”

But hold on a minute.

That sign-and-trade with the Blazers is not yet good to go, according to beat writers Jason Quick and Mike Tokito of the Oregonian, who report  “the deal is not complete and includes several other components coming to Portland. The details of the deal are expected to be finalized today.”

RELATED CONTENT: Lin would cost Knicks $43 million in salary and luxury tax in 2014-15)

Howard Beck and Nate Taylor of the New York Times said Felton will receive a three-year, $10 million contract, and that the Knicks would include the rights to two overseas players: “It has been widely assumed that the Knicks would match Houston’s offer and keep Lin, despite a salary increase to $14.9 million in the third year of the deal. Team officials have said as much for weeks, both before and after the Rockets made the offer. Two reports late Saturday cast doubt on that assumption. The first came via the Twitter account of a South Carolina television reporter, Mark Haggard, who said that Felton had told him that the Knicks planned to let Lin leave for Houston. A short time later, Yahoo Sports reported that Lin “appears close” to joining the Rockets, in light of Felton’s deal. … Coach Mike Woodson said earlier this week the Knicks would not only match Houston’s offer, but that Lin would be the team’s starting point guard. He reiterated that point even after the Knicks signed Jason Kidd, a 10-time All-Star. Woodson said that Kidd would be the backup.

It appears one of those overseas players is recent draftee Kostas Papanikolaou.



And if the Knicks are adding cash to the deal, it can’t be more than $1.1 million, as they already sent $2 million to the Rockets in the Camby deal, and teams have only $3.1 million to use in trades before next July (Up $100K from last season).

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported a source familiar with the club’s thinking is confident that the Knicks will not match. Isola also notes that the GeriatKnicks (my word, not Frank’s), with Thomas and Camby, will now have two of the players who were on the roster the last time the team won a playoff series, in 2000 against the Miami Heat in the second round. Isola also tweeted this today:


Lin was a close friend of guard Landry Fields, who will be joining the Toronto Raptors after New York declined to match his $20 million offer sheet.


  1. Jim says

    Smart move by the Knicks from both a financially and basketball related standpoints. Luxury tax penalties will be harsh moving forward, and Melo played better last year when Lin was not on the floor.

    What I love about the Rockets signing Lin though is that they had Lin on their roster last off-season and felt so little of him they let him go for nothing. Now they are being intoxicated by half a season of Linsanity. They should trust more what they saw before his crazy few weeks last year, and remember why he couldn’t make it onto the court in Houston.

  2. Jimbo says

    Whatever, the Knicks should let the Rockets have him. The Rockets are making a bunch of crazy moves that make no sense, and giving Jeremy Lin an average of $8mil/year is one of them. Lin played well last season, but he hasn’t shown he can keep producing at a consistently high level like he did with the Knicks. Why is Daryl Morey so highly regarded? He seems really overrated right now. I hope he gets Dwight Howard so he can have an overpaid PG, a disgruntled superstar center with one year on his contract, and whatever awful players with outrageous contracts that the Magic force the Rockets to take as well.

    • AnthonyD says

      No one does a better job of turning mediocre assets into tradeable / desireable ones. Look at how he acquired Kevin Martin, Lowry, 1st round picks from the Knicks and Minny. His problem is his picks have been too good and the team hasn’t bottomed out for a position high in the lottery. He could tank like Presti did and luck into Durant. Would that make him a better GM?

  3. AnthonyD says

    Awesome. So the Knicks will effectively be trading Lin and a potential prospect in Pop. for Felton and Kurt Thomas. This is a textbook Zeke Thomas move. I assume there is some sort of umprotected first rounder going to Portland as well down the road? Ray Felton sucks. He is a change of pace / pick and roll only PG and he’s only ok at that. He doesn’t he create his own shot well, can’t shoot and doesn’t defend well. I realize Lin in year 3 will make a fortune and I am not NOT a shareholder in $MSG (nor will I ever be) but putting money aside, this move STINKS

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