Jeremy Lin is now officially moving to re-join the Houston Rockets (in case you haven’t been following the post-season affairs of the NBA, the draft and post-aftermath of free agency). Yes, I said re-join, since he technically was part of the Houston Rockets in December 2011, for about a week or two before being traded to the New York Knicks:
The Knicks cut ties with Lin on Tuesday night, ending a brief, spectacular and now-bittersweet love affair between Lin, a 23-year-old point guard, and an adoring fan base. Lin will play next season for the Houston Rockets, who signed him to a three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet that the Knicks chose not to match…The decision was said to be financial, not emotional. Lin’s contract contains a third-year balloon payment of $14.9 million, which would have cost the Knicks another $35 million or more in luxury-tax penalties. This so-called poison pill was devised by the Rockets to dissuade the Knicks from matching, and it proved effective.
Houston was the second team (after Golden State) to waive Lin last December. At the time, the Rockets had two capable point guards and needed to clear cap room. Morey, who has been a fervent believer in Lin’s talent, said he was “thrilled to have him back in Houston.” While acknowledging some risk, Morey said, “Jeremy is an extremely, extremely good risk.” Morey added, “I think if you combined his underrated athleticism with his work ethic and intelligence, you have a player that we’d bet on every time.”
The Times also does an excellent Q&A for anyone who still has questions as to why Lin is off to Houston. There has been endless debate as to whether or not Lin was worth the money for the Knicks. I thought Nate Silverman of FiveThirtyEight blog put it perfectly by stating:
Linsanity was something different. As of late Monday morning, on the mere possibility that Lin might not be re-signed, MSG stock had lost about $50 million in market value — nearly as much as the salary and luxury tax that the Knicks would need to keep the dream alive for the next three years.