Jeremy Lin to join the Houston Rockets
BY CHRIS DUNCAN Associated Press
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
7/18/12 at 5:35 AM
HOUSTON - Jeremy Lin is leaving New York and taking Linsanity to Houston.
The New York Knicks announced Tuesday night that they will not match the Houston Rockets' three-year, $25 million offer for Lin, a restricted free-agent.
New York officially had until 10:59 CDT to decide whether to re-sign Lin, who became an international phenomenon in the media glare of the Big Apple.
The Rockets made it tough for the Knicks to sign off on keeping him by backloading their offer sheet with a $15 million salary in the third season. If the Knicks agreed to that deal, they would've faced a hefty luxury tax in 2014-15 because of other big contracts on their books - between $30-40 million.
Lin now returns to Houston, where he spent about two weeks in December during training camp. The Rockets liked what they saw in the undrafted point guard, but had to waive him because they had Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic on the roster.
The New York Times initially reported the Knicks' decision, citing an unidentified person briefed on the situation.
One sports consultant said the adjustment to the offer sheet was a stroke of genius by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey.
"The Rockets deserve a lot of credit for the way they've gone about this," said Marc Ganis, president of Chicago-based SportsCorp. "It was extremely intelligent - with an assassin's touch."
The Knicks, though, gave Lin his first shot, picking him up after the Rockets waived him.
He was briefly demoted to the developmental league, recalled and finally got his chance when coach Mike D'Antoni put him in with the Knicks floundering at 8-15.
Lin scored a career-high 25 points in a 99-92 win over New Jersey Nets and "Linsanity" was born.
But Lin proved more than just an overnight sensation - he had 28 and 23 points in his first two NBA starts, and then scored a career-high 38 in a 92-85 victory over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Original Print Headline: Linsanity to Houston