Yahoo Sports - On Thursday night, Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Houston Rockets had reached terms with New York Knicks sensation and restricted free agent Jeremy Lin on a backloaded four-year, $28.8-million offer (with the fourth year as a team option). For all intents and purposes, this deal means he’s heading back to the Knicks for the same price. Knicks officials have been very clear over the past few weeks that they intended to keep Lin at any cost. And while the luxury tax hit will be steep in the third and fourth years of this contract, it’s hard to argue that Lin won’t be worth it. The question for many is if that will be the case because of his on-court production or his status as a global brand. As a high-profile Asian-American player in the biggest market in the league, Lin will command attention from all forms of media and bring in many, many dollars in jersey sales, corporate sponsorships, and virtually every other way that an NBA franchise can make money. I fully expect to see Lin-branded hot dog carts around New York by the end of October.
I’m getting a little sick and tired of hearing about Jeremy Lin and the Asian presence and how he’ll make up for his $30 million contract. Maybe with any other team this logic would make sense, but not with Jim Dolan. All the money that they make on jersey sales and merchandise sales and TV sales and Crazians who wanna buy a piece of gum that Jeremy Lin chewed during a game is going right to his pockets. Bottom line is this backloaded contract is gonna cripple them on the salary cap with Melo, Amare and Chandler’s max contracts while the revenue Lin generates helps the Knicks as a team in no way at all.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it was a move the Knicks needed to make. I think 5, 5, 10 and 10 million isn’t the end of the world. But the notion that “he pays for himself” just doesn’t make sense with a team owned by Jim Dolan. When he’s was making league minimum last year or when you think you’re gonna get him on a 1 or 2 year deal at the mid level exception, its one thing. But now at $30 million its a different story. I mean at the end of the day its still a plus that you’re point guard is a walking money machine, but I just don’t think it helps the team on the floor or the fanbase in any way at all.
PS – Imagine doing your job well for 2 weeks and getting paid $30 million for it?