Saturday, June 30, 2012

Exciting Times For The Lins

With free agency about to begin 12:01 Sunday morning, these are exciting times for the Lin family. Jeremy and his family will be set for life in a week or two when his new contract is signed. It looks like he'll most likely receive a four year offer for between 22.4 to 40 million (I predict it will be closer to 40 million). Once Deron Williams decides, the dominoes will fall. He is bound to receive a back loaded offer from one or two out of these three:

Toronto
Dallas
Brooklyn

There could also be sleepers like:

Charlotte
Indiana
Phoenix
Houston

They will be in the mix as I believe they're all able to make backloaded offers since they are way under the cap.

Then, the Knicks will have to match or let JLin go.

For those of you who don't know a lot about the Lin family, Jeremy came from humble beginnings. It will be nice not to worry about paying student loans or other financial issues. He can now concentrate 100% on becoming the best basketball player he can be, while also not losing sight on what got him this far. This is just another amazing chapter to this amazing story of the best Asian basketball player ever to set foot on this planet.

By the way, I've heard that he is looking great in his summer workouts!

68 comments:

  1. 40 is a high number. My gut tells me teams are somewhat skeptical of Jeremy and all those offers are unlikely. Once Deron chooses (probably the Nets), then Nash is the next guy in line and he'll probably pick between Dallas and Toronto. Then, the loser of that is probably going up against the field, which I predict to include possibly the Lakers and a couple of other teams (maybe Phoenix). I don't see Houston joining in as I think they'll re-sign Dragic (they're also looking to trade Lowry). And I can't see Indiana and Charlotte joining in. Charlotte is in deep rebuilding mode and Indiana seems to be committed to George Hill.

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    1. Also, Phoenix just drafted Kendall Marshall and have Aaron Brooks as an RFA, so I'm thinking they'll go cheap and either re-sign Brooks and another cheaper PG rather than go after Lin with a back-loaded offer.

      The options aren't as plentiful as they once seemed and the Knicks will let Lin and his team negotiate with others because they know the market isn't that great.

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    2. Lin has more value to the Raptors and Nets, who need an identity and brand, than any other team besides the Knicks. Lin is a tailor-made figurehead for the Toronto and Brooklyn/NYC fan bases. On the court, both teams are young and/or rebuilding and don't expect to compete for a championship in the near future. Therefore, they're in a better position to pay for the reward of his public appeal and gamble on his basketball potential, while accepting his basketball risk. As a team leader, Lin is also young enough to build around for the long term.

      For teams that are either win-now or don't have an urban (or urbane) fan base to maximize Lin's public appeal, Lin's basketball risk weighs more. For those teams, I would value Lin's risk/reward at the same level as a #1 over-all draft pick, or 5+ mil per over 4 years with a team option. The problem is that amount happens to be the same amount the Knicks happily ... gratefully ... will match. To pry Lin away from the Knicks will require a backloaded 'poison pill' contract.

      Given Lin's basketball risk, I believe teams other than the Raptors and Nets will shy away from offering Lin a superstar deal - this year. They'll be willing to pay Lin like a superstar the next time he's a free agent, when he's established himself as a young veteran with low risk. In the meantime, there are established quality PGs on the market or obtainable via trade.

      Option-A for the Nets is Deron Williams (I argue the new Brooklyn franchise would be better off with Lin) and option-A for the Raptors is Canadian favorite son Steve Nash. I expect the Mavs will end up with one or the other PG. If either or both franchises lose out on their option-As, then the Knicks can expect serious competitive bidding for Lin.

      Of course, there might be a darkhorse team owner who is so smitten with Lin's global marketing potential, that he'll offer whatever it takes to poach Lin, figuring he'll recover any salary cap penalties in other ways.

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  2. If Lin headlines the new trendy underdog Brooklyn Nets and let's his swashbuckling mojo fly (and doesn't get hurt again doing it), he'll blow up as a bigger generational pop-culture hero than he already is.

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  3. While I prefer that Lin gain experience and develop his game for 1-2 more seasons as a Knick, here's my case for Lin joining the Nets:

    Jeremy Lin and the Nets should be a perfect marriage. The Nets have the makings of a rebuilding team with cap flexibility and young talented players with good character in need of a dynamic team leader. Lin can be that leader.

    The Brooklyn Nets can become Lin's team like no other team can. The franchise is in search of a new brand and identity in their new home, one of the trendiest urban locales in New York, and therefore America and the world. There is no better identity for NYC's new NBA franchise than one defined by Jeremy Lin's leadership, swagger, and exciting, clutch, gutsy play on the court, combined with his grounded humility, meta self-awareness, and savvy public relations off the court. (Lin is very comfortable with social media.) Brooklyn is diverse, proudly ethnic, culturally rich, and full of immigrant stock, a perfect match for Lin, the ethnic 1st-generation American exemplar. And Brooklyn loves its sports. With Lin as the face and personality of the Nets, the team would become the heir to the Brooklyn Dodgers' venerated image as the team of American immigrant dreams. Even Lin's evangelical Christianity would play better in the outer boroughs, where traditional religiosity is respected, than secular Manhattan.

    I prefer Lin play with the Knicks for one or two more years, with play-off experience, in order to refine Lin's game and cement his New York fan base. But the opportunity for Lin to be a free-agent at the same the Nets are seeking a free-agent PG to lead the team may not come around again. The opportunity for Lin to be the first to paint on a new fresh canvas to define the new Brooklyn franchise won't happen again.

    From a business perspective, the Nets projected fan base of Brooklyn fans are Knicks fans right now. While it's reasonable to expect many, maybe most, proud Brooklynites will eventually convert to become Nets fans, the team would first have to win over fans who have been loyal to the Knicks for generations. It could take years for the Nets to find their footing in NYC, especially if the new team struggles on the court and to establish its social identity. Resurrecting Linsanity in Brooklyn would be a shortcut to win over New York with an exciting, lovable team.

    The Linsanity streak has been mythologized in New York and Lin is adored by NYC basketball fans. Ironically, Lin's knee injury helped Lin's public image. Knicks fans lamenting his loss have elevated his star status. Adding Lin would instantly draw many New York fans to the Nets.

    Finally, a Knicks-Nets subway rivalry with an upstart young Lin-led Nets competing hard to upstage the veteran Melo-led Knicks would immediately electrify the city. The Nets ownership couldn't ask for a better start to their Brooklyn franchise.

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  4. "He is bound to receive a back loaded offer from one or two out of these three ..."

    I know that this won't be a popular opinion on this site, but I am skeptical of the willingness of NBA teams to pay a guy $40 million - with $15 million in a single season - based on a 27 game sample size. You'd have to provide precedent for it (and no, the huge deals that they gave guys coming out of college before the rookie scale was instituted is not precedent). Even if you say that Lin's marketability will more than pay for his salary, you have to realize that Linsanity happened because the Knicks were winning. So, if Toronto isn't winning games then Lin won't be anywhere near as much of a marketable commodity. And paying for his contract with attendance and merchandising revenue is one thing. The salary cap is another. Just because whoever gets him may be overflowing in profits won't change the percentage of the cap that his salary will count for.

    Maybe NBA teams are as sold on Lin's ability and potential as most of his supporters on this site are; who knows. But I am thinking that NBA teams are going to wait 3 years to see if Lin can sustain his excellence over that period of time and THEN make a run at him.

    Look at it this way: were Lin the #1 pick in the NBA draft, the most that he could make is $13.2 million over the next 3 years. Are franchises going to line up to pay double or triple that for a guy who is only 27 games more proven than the #1 pick in the draft? Again, show me the precedent where anything like this has ever happened before.

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    1. If Omer Asik can average 3 pts a game and get offered a reported 8 million a year. JLin at 10 million is a steal!

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    2. You're comparing apples and oranges. Bigs routinely get overpaid because of the scarcity of them. The market is based on that, not their ability level. Case in point: DeAndre Jordan and Kwame Brown last offseason.

      Are the teams you mentioned above based on your own speculation or real inside info?

      We will see what happens, though.

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    3. Unknown, I agree with you except that Toronto has the particular kind of fan base that can maximize Lin's public appeal. And I don't mean just Canada's Asian communities.

      Lowered expectations - the Raptors have been a losing franchise for almost all of their history. If they can support Vince Carter and Chris Bosh's failed efforts, they'll love Jeremy Lin's competitiveness. Toronto fans will support an exciting young team moving in the right direction for a while, even if the team won't contend for a championship for a few years.

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    4. Add: The larger worry for me as a GM considering signing Lin to a sufficiently large backloaded contract, even if I favored Lin's marketing potential, character and proven abilities, and potential for growth, would be his injury risk. Right and left knee surgeries in consecutive years despite relatively low playing time, then his failure to make at least a token appearance against the Heat in round one. Those are red flags that Lin may be either being injury-prone or unable to play hurt if needed.

      I would prefer Lin prove he can play through a full season and post-season before I invested superstar money in him.

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    5. When will you guys learn that the NBA is a BUSINESS where a guy's salary should not be determined strictly by how many points and assists he gets?

      Lin's estimated worth to the Knicks for the 2011-2012 season was speculated to be as high as $300 million. A guy brings in $300 million off $800,000 he's being paid? That's literally like winning Powerball.

      The $300 million Lin generated as am employee for the Knicks makes a $20 million max contract look like a winning lottery ticket. That would be the case even if Lin "only" generated the low $50 million figure that has been thrown about.

      Lin is the 2nd greatest NBA bargain of ALL TIME, no matter what he's paid.

      But not even Lin can outvalue the incredible lifetime TV deal that pays the Silna family of the old ABA Spirits of St. Louis 4/7 of the TV revenues being generated by the Spurs and Nuggets and Pacers and Nets collectively for doing NOTHING.

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    6. Eric,

      Please realize 10 million a year is not true superstar money:

      Monta Ellis 11 mil.
      Jose Calderon 10.5 mil.
      Devin Harris 8.5 mil.
      Rodney Stuckey 8.5 mil.

      If he played through a full and post season at anything close to his Linsanity like level and was a free agent, he would then command true superstar money which is 20mil + per.

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    7. K, whatever Lin is worth in real terms to the Knicks, the Knicks are using the NBA salary system to guide how they're approaching Lin's new contract.

      The Knicks have made their qualifying offer and announced their intention to match anything Lin signs with another team. Now, instead of negotiating against themselves, the Knicks are sitting back and letting the market set the price for Lin. Best case for the team is Lin makes the rounds, no teams bite, and he comes back cheap. Worst case for the Knicks is a team like the Raptors or Nets makes a serious bid and forces the Knicks hand.

      The Knicks are anticipating the market for Lin. Rivals are anticipating the Knicks threshold for matching to keep Lin. As fans, we're trying to anticipate what those might be.

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    8. JLinfan#1, I wonder if Lin will get a backloaded offer where the salary spike after the Gilbert Arenas provision part is a team option rather than guaranteed.

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    9. And that's why teams like the Knicks don't win, Eric.

      People don't realize how EASY it is to pry Lin off the Knicks. All they have to do is offer that backloaded contract and BANG - Lin is goner. It is not even the ulimate risk because even if Lin is a "one and done" who plays less than one year of his four year contract, his revenue generated in his first year would likely pay for his ENTIRE contract and then some.

      There is another aspect of Lin that has gone completely unnoticed. Not only does Lin raise a franchise's value simply by having "Lin #17" jerseys printed, he also elevates the value of his teammates and attracts free agents looking to cash in on playing beside him. A truly great player like Lin has a synergistic effect on a franchise, which is why the Heat and Thunder with their multiple great players can select the best free agents for cheap.

      Like I said above, people in the basketball business don't make their business based on money. And that's their downfall.

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    10. if lin leaves then all those people who bought lin's jersey will have to buy a new one. The nba has an incentive to encourage teams to offer huge back loaded contracts.

      jeremy had limited playing time but he probably played very hard during practices and also never took time off as he was playing in the summer league and in china. This probably lead to his injuries. He needs time off and got to adjust his training. I bet a lot of his training is putting to much stress on his joints. Also he needs to throw away those low profile nikes he likes or replace them every game.

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    11. Me: "I wonder if Lin will get a backloaded offer where the salary spike after the Gilbert Arenas provision part is a team option rather than guaranteed."

      The answer is no. According to the ubiquitous Larry Coon FAQ http://www.cbafaq.com/ the post-GAP salary is guaranteed.

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    12. K, that's what makes the Lin free agency so interesting. Lin is risky. There's a lot to debate. NBA GMs deciding whether to give Lin a 4 year 30-40 mil guaranteed right now don't have a safe track record to judge that investment. They have to take a leap of faith on Lin based on a small questionable body of work.

      JLinfan#1 has pegged Lin's fair market price at 10+ mil per (after the GAP). Since he compared Lin to 4 starting guards who lack added marketing value (unless Calderon shirts are making bank in Spain), I assume JLinfan#1 based 10+ mil per on Lin's basketball value, as opposed to basketball value + added marketing value.

      I peg Lin's fair market price right now at 5+ mil per. I based that number on a basketball value equivalent to an incoming #1 overall pick (rookie scale for a #1 overall is about 4.5 mil per) without added marketing value. Lin right now presents GMs a package of promise, doubts, and unknowns that's like an incoming top draft pick.

      I believe the Raptors and Nets, of the identified candidates, are the teams most likely to give extra weight to Lin's added marketing value due to their fan bases.

      Lin's body of work last season was more than a flash, but also less than reliable to project a big long commitment. Within that small body of work, Lin had highs and lows along with his team's roller-coaster season. Worse, Lin missed the post-season altogether. He proved he belongs in the NBA as a rotation player, but beyond that, opinions on Lin's career ceiling vary widely. Even Lin's vaunted added marketing value, which you judge will be consistent wherever he goes - how much of his marketing explosion was based on a magical convergence of factors that won't happen again? How much of his added marketing value can be relied on over the long term as intrinsic to Lin?

      I believe Lin's added marketing value will work with Toronto and Brooklyn/NYC's fan bases even if the team doesn't contend right away and his play is middling, but elsewhere? Maybe, maybe not. Just because Lin shares a phenotype with Yao, doesn't automatically mean he shares Yao's added marketing value.

      Over the next 1-2 years as a starter, Lin will answer the doubts and unknowns, positively or negatively, including whether he can physically endure a full NBA season, including and especially the post-season. But this off-season, Lin is a risky gamble beyond 4 years 5+ mil per.

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    13. me, whatever it is Lin has to do to stay on the court, he's gotta figure it.

      It's like JLinfan#1 said, "If he played through a full and post season ...". Well, he didn't. If Lin had finished the season and played clutch and tough in Round 1, as we expect he would have, he would have silenced a lot of the doubts being thrown around now.

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    14. Lin is "risky" to you because you still doubt his talent.

      To me, Lin is the LOWEST risk of all the free agents out there. Even if he suddenly has to retire after next season due to injury, he'll have paid for himself on and off the court. Thus Lin is the rarest of the rare in the NBA: a guaranteed financial SLAM DUNK.

      Whatever doubts you and others feel are because you don't realize the full extent of what Jeremy Lin stands for on and off the court. No NBA player in the history of the game has emerged from nowhere like Lin did and absolutely dominated as he has. People everywhere, not just Asian Americans, have taken notice and are voicing their approval via ticket sales and endorsements.

      Jeremy Lin doesn't even have to be an All Star to justify a max contract. As the NBA's most popular player due to his inconceivable blend of everyman humility and All World on court production, he is the breath of fresh air the NBA needs more than ever.

      Lin is "risky" only if you look at him from the traditional American scouting lens that an Asian like him cannot theoretically keep up with athletes of any other color.

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    15. The domino effect would be when teams lose out on other free agents such as Steve Nash, Deron Williams, and Goran Dragic. Jeremy Lin's back-loaded contract deal isn't a huge cap killer either, as he won't be getting the 10mill+ until his 3rd and 4th season. The great value in Lin is that he's a international marketing machine waiting to burst open. There's a reason why he just switched management. Everyone is waiting to cash in.

      At this point, a team like the Nets if they lose Deron Williams would be a perfect situation for him since the owner wants a global team as well. Or even another rebuilding team. They simply can just hire coach Mike D'Antoni and try to bring back Linsanity. More global exposure for any team means money all-around.

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    16. The team would have to apply the yearly average of the whole contract to each year.

      I assume a major reason Lin hired a new agent was to better make the added marketing value pitch to teams.

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    17. K, describing Lin's current basketball value as equivalent to a number one draft pick implies belief in his talent.

      Lin observedly kept up with NBA players. He observedly showed strengths and areas to improve in his game. He observedly dominated at times and struggled at other times in a relatively small sample size. The team and Lin's role were in flux due to the coaching change and different combinations of teammates at the point Lin observedly was shut down with a knee injury. Lin wasn't observable in the post season.

      I doubt by now that even the most stubborn reactionary NBA scout with a "traditional American scouting lens that an Asian like him cannot theoretically keep up with athletes of any other color" would argue that Lin isn't an NBA-level player. There's theory, then there's proof. Lin proved he belongs in the NBA. The debate is over Lin's next NBA contract, not over an NBADL, Euro, or Chinese team contract.

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    18. You are comparing Lin with a locked salary #1 rookie pick at about 5 mil.

      The thing is, he is not a locked salary rookie and he can get the big (middle road money really....).

      Without the hindrance of the rookie pay scale, Lin, like the rookies of the 90s is going to get paid his max.


      And how is this Eric guy gonna go off on all the risks (knees) for teams have signing Jeremy.... but not consider these same risks FOR JEREMY.... sign a one year contract........ that's just.... NO....



      Teams around the league will not let the Knicks sign Lin for the minimum market value. Anytime that wants him will submit their offers. Either they get Lin (win) or they make the Knicks pay the max (smaller win).

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    19. "But not even Lin can outvalue the incredible lifetime TV deal that pays the Silna family of the old ABA Spirits of St. Louis 4/7 of the TV revenues being generated by the Spurs and Nuggets and Pacers and Nets collectively for doing NOTHING."

      Whoa. I never heard of this. Was this deal part of the ABA merger with the NBA?

      That's a ridiculous deal for the Silnas to get 4/7 of all TV revenues for those 4 teams in perpetuity. Incredible if true.

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    20. # 1 j, is there any need to debate that Lin should choose the best situation for him and the team that offers to pay him the most? The discussion framed by JLinfan#1 is speculating what offers various NBA teams may give to Lin, not what Lin wants, or what we want for him.

      We're trying to get into the heads of NBA GMS and owners and figure out how they value Lin.

      Before the rookie salary structure, rookies were receiving contracts that paid them more than the NBA's established stars. Besides the social and cultural upheaval that caused within the NBA fraternity, the rookie contracts blew out teams' salary caps. Not only 1st rounders, but 2nd rounders like Gilbert Arenas dragged teams down.

      The rookie salary structure is the NBA and players collective determination of the proper basketball value of the top rookies, including the 'can't miss' star prospects at the top of the draft. Now, Lin isn't an incoming #1 overall who's been labeled the next big thing without having yet played a minute in the NBA. But that's the best risk/reward analogy I can think of to peg Lin's current basketball value - my opinion.

      I view 5+ mil per as a safe floor to predict Lin's present basketball value because it syncs the non-taxpayer MLE with the price range that NBA teams are accustomed to paying for the similar risk/reward balance presented by #1 over-all picks. Higher than 5+ mil, the balance tilts to risk.

      Rising from 5+ mil toward 4 years 36+ mil, what can tip the balance back towards reward? Team need and Lin's fit. Non-basketball factors, especially how different teams weigh Lin's added marketing value. His added marketing value isn't the same for every team; eg, I think Lin would become a pop-culture hero on the Brooklyn Nets. How high teams believe the Knicks will go to match. In other words, I would not be surprised if a team gave Lin a big offer, but I guess the offer would be based on more than his basketball value, at the same times others weigh only his basketball value.

      The Knicks factor can push up Lin's price, which would be good for him, but it can also push his price higher than other teams are willing to pay at this point, which would be bad for Lin. It looks like the Knicks are comfortable paying for 4 years 5+ mil per. It remains to be seen how much more they're willing to pay to keep Lin.

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    21. Lxy, the deal by the Silnas is for real.

      The ABA Spirits of St Louis were a wacky but rich franchise which was led on court by Marvin "Bad News" Barnes who was an athletic small forward who played all 3 frontcourt positions and was compared by his then coach Rod Thorn to Bernard King.

      The Spirits had a major cocaine problem with Barnes despite having incredible players that went on to star in the NBA. This was the team that gave Moses Malone his 1st start out of high school. At the time, people attributed Marvin Barnes' erratic play and behavior to mere immaturity, but cocaine was likely the real problem.

      When the ABA-NBA merger happened, the NBA rejected the Spirits. Thus the Silnas had no franchise after the millions they spent in the 1970s building that team. Their lawyer essentially pointed the financial gun at the 4 ABA franchises that were joining the NBA and basically said "Since you're sacrificing our franchise to save your own, you need to compensate us as long as you are in the NBA".

      The Silnas got their deal and their money. So while the Silnas collect money owed them, there would be no Brooklyn Nets or Indiana Pacers or Denver Nuggets or San Antonio Spurs had the Silnas not sacrificed their multimillion dollar franchise.

      To me, the deal is not as lopsided in favor of the Silnas as it is made out to be. If.somebody destroyed my multimillion dollar basketball team to save their own, you bet I'd demand compensation for making somebody else rich at my expense.
      There is another happy side to this. Marvin Barnes has drifted in and out of jail since retirement. The years of drug abuse caught up to him and now his health is failing. Yet the Silnas stepped in and paid off all his medical bills in gratitude for Barnes making their franchise just barely strong enough to be around for the merger settlement. Given the abuse Barnes put the Silnas through, I thought that the Silnas showed class in taking care of Bad News Barnes.

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    22. Eric, the difference between you and me.is that I'm NOT a risk taker.

      My argument for giving Lin that backloaded max contract is that even if he plays only part of next season and has.to retire, he'll still make all the money that he's being paid for his entire contract in a single year. Thus you can't possibly LOSE money by signing Lin.

      Now if Lin's health holds up (and all indications are that it WILL), Lin will continue to produce those Powerball earnings as long as he can step onto a NBA court. The longer Lin plays, the more money he'll generate for his franchise.

      Also, Lin's presence will elevate the play of his teammates. Steve Novak likely wouldn't even be in the NBA next season had Lin not turned him into the NBA's deadliest outside shooter. JR Smith would not have come to NY and played well enough to opt out. Thus Lin increases the quality and thus dollars that his teammates generate, adding onto Lin's Powerball earnings.

      And injuried? ALL NBA players can be knocked out at any point in their careers. Lin's injury wasn't serious compared to some of the other ones out there (i.e. Amare Stoudemire who's uninsurable bt still got a max contract). It's not as if Lin is retirement age, and he's going to have nice full summers to keep his body ready to play major minutes.

      Any franchise that is struggling with attendance and fan apathy and dropping franchise value ought to throw that maximally backloaded contract at Lin and let him do his thing. For example, I don't want to hear Michael Jordan pouting about his poorly performing franchise when he could easily pry Lin off the Knicks so that Lin could teach Michael Kidd Gilchrist how to play and feed high flying lobs to Tyrus Thomas who'd throw punches as Lin's enforcer instead of at ex coach Paul Silas.

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    23. Funny you tell me that but it's even funnier when u consider the things you have discussed on this article.

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    24. K, interesting that you bring up the Bobcats. Upthread, when I said "For teams that ... don't have an urban (or urbane) fan base to maximize Lin's public appeal, Lin's basketball risk weighs more", I had the Charlotte Bobcats in mind from the teams JLinfan#1 listed as his sleepers.

      I believe when Lin has established himself and matured into the player we expect, he'll be capable of going to any team in any market and turning it around. Granted, too, I have Northeast, winning team, and big city biases as an NBA fan, so I concede I may not appreciate the Charlotte market for Lin. That said, do you believe the Bobcats fan base would embrace Lin if his effort is there, but not the wins?

      I'm confident that fan bases such as Brooklyn/NYC, Toronto, and Lin's hometown would have a love affair with Lin as long as the effort is there, even if his team is losing. I'm less confident Charlotte fans would appreciate Lin the same way. Thus, my belief that Lin's added marketing value weighs more for some teams than others.

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    25. Charlotte would EMBRACE Jeremy Lin.

      His "aw shucks" demeanor combined with his All World game would enthrall the fan base there and worldwide. And if he gets guys like Tyrus Thomas to start playing, Charlotte would become the powerhouse that Michael Jordan envisioned.

      Unfortunately, I don't think Rich Cho is smart enough. How could a purported stats geek like him draft a guy like Michael Kidd Gilchrist who was rated at the bottom for shooting? And MKG is supposed to be the savior?

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    26. Pinoy, I like the domino effect image insofar it's too early yet for Lin to be flooded with offers. As option-As come off the board, more teams will be pulling up Lin's card. The dominos may fall quickly, but it's also possible that the process will drag out long enough for teams to send their scouts to the Team USA practices to report on Lin before they make a final decision on a backloaded offer.

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  5. I actually want Jeremy to sign just the Early Bird-minimum TWO-YEAR deal -- with a player option for the second year, if possible.

    He needs to keep his long-term options open AND pressure Woodson/Dolan/Grunwald to use him properly. If they misuse him, J-Lin can high-tail it out of there forever as an unrestricted free agent in a year or two.

    A short two-year contract sends a clear message to the Knicks: "Treat me right or I'll take my talents and marketing dollars somewhere else." A four-year deal would hold Lin prisoner for too long.

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    1. That said, this recent knee injury might have been a wake-up call to GET PAID as soon as possible. You never know when a career-debilitating injury might strike.

      So I can understand Jeremy taking a huge backloaded 4-year deal.

      Okay, new plan: Either sign a huge four-year deal or a small two-year deal. Nothing in between.

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    2. I prefer a 1-2 year deal as well. Whatever Lin needs to prove, and whatever he needs to improve upon, and whatever experience he needs to build up, 1-2 seasons should be enough for Lin to do it. Unless he gets hurt again and misses more chunks of games in the regular and, more crucially, post-season.

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    3. I've been saying Lin should play 1-2 years for the Knicks based on how much time I believe Lin will need to prove, improve, and experience to be ready to become the centerpiece of his own team.

      However, a 1 year deal with the Knicks would mean Lin agreeing to the qualifying offer of 1 mil in order to become an RFA again next year. That's a bad option. So I ought to be saying 2 years, not 1-2 years.

      I believe Anthony and Lin have the complementary skills to become a top dynamic duo. Lin is versatile and Anthony can do it all. But like other Lin fans, I'm wary of Anthony's passive-aggressive dogging it, coach-killing, teammate-alienating reputation. After Lin receives from his Knicks experience what he needs to establish his career, I want Lin to think hard about committing to the Knicks long term.

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    4. Early Bird minimum? did you mean Early Bird MAXIMUM? The Maximum means he'll get as much as he can through his Early Bird Rights. So he would be getting near the Middle Level Exception, with a second season raise a little over 7%.

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    5. Pinoy, zxcvb meant that the minimum length (not $)contract is 2 years.

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  6. Jeremy should sign a 4 year max backloaded deal. That way the coach and team know he's a key piece so he can lead the team. A 2 yr deal will make the coach and big ego teammates not respect him like what happened this yr, he'll be seen as a temporary journeyman. Go with a team willing to make that commitment to him

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    1. I agree, Lin should get his money now. A 2 year deal also limits the amount of money Lin will be getting, and the way Lin plays he's also risking injury with no guaranteed money after. With a 4 year GUARANTEED deal, he'll get paid no matter what. He won't have to worry about what not getting paid anymore. If Woodson decides not to utilize Lin to his maximum capability, his value might actually drop as well.

      I think the best case scenario for Lin would be a 4 year deal (back-loaded contract), with an opt-out after the 3rd season. This way Lin gets paid no matter what and if he so chooses, he can leave before his 4th season.

      Winning the Bird Rights for waived players was huge because Knicks are certainly going to match.

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    2. Good points guys. He should hunker down with a 4 yr deal and just concentrate on basketball and improving his game and not worry about anything else. Im sure NY will bring in a respected PG if needed to tutor Lin, or they will come willingly ala jason kidd. He doesbt have to go out in search of knowledge. They will come to him.

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  7. just heard rumor on NY ESPS radio that Knicks is trading Landry for Nash.

    Does this mean that Knicks management still doesn't have any intention in developing Lin and building the team around Lin, that Lin will become backup for Nash, that they just use Lin to attract ticket sales/boost their stock price?

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    1. The team isn't being built around Lin regardless. Maybe in 3 years, but for now, the Man is Anthony.

      Playing and practicing with Nash should help Lin's development. Even if Lin is only a back-up PG, he'll get minutes. Nash averaged only 31.6 MPG last year and his MPG will probably drop this year. Games played, too.

      Lin could play SG with Nash. Jamal Crawford played 31.1 MPG with 14.0 FGA off the bench in 09-10 as Woodson's 3rd guard. I doubt Lin would get 14.0 FGA off the bench, but 30.0 MPG behind Nash and whatever SG the Knicks field is reasonable.

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    2. Fear: the Knicks include Lin in the sign and trade.

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    3. Yeah, there's no way they can trade just Landry for Nash. Even if they throw in Shump and Novak ... their combined salary won't add up to the $12 million+ that other teams are offering him.

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    4. Landry Fields is a good player, but I feel sorry for him if he's coming to my hometown Suns.

      He needs shots created for him, though I think he could do that a little more successfully if Alvin Gentry starts him as a SF to replace Grant Hill. I am skeptical that lottery rookie Kendall Marshall can get Fields those shots, as NBA point guards need to be able to score in order to draw defenses away from others.

      Toney Douglas will be a throw in on the Nash deal. Don't be surprised if he ends up as the starting PG for the Suns not because he's so great, but because he's the only Suns guard that can play a shred.of defense.

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  8. I know this sounds crazy, but I'm throwing Golden State into the mix of potential teams that may want Lin. They got rid of Ellis, Curry has those bad ankles, Mark Jackson could be fired, and Lin has a good relationship with David Lee. I could see Golden State pleading for a do-over.

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    2. That's not crazy at all, Phil Hwang.

      If anything, Golden State could use Lin more than the Knicks do. The Knicks will always be able to get veterans on the cheap while Golden State has trouble holding onto its players.

      Joe Lacob was seriously booed at Chris.Mullin's retirement ceremony. If Lacob wanted to reverse that, offering that backloaded contract to Lin would give Golden State its first real PG since Baron Davis. Lin would return to where it all started but would turn that team around with his stellar play.

      Golden State ought to look very hard at getting Jeremy Lin.

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    3. Good call. GS can afford Lin: http://hoopshype.com/salaries/golden_state.htm

      GS's profile is spot-on for a team that should accept Lin's risks and look to Lin's rewards. The team's rebuilding, young, in transition, in need of identity and leadership. Their recent high draft picks have been iffy. A franchise that's treading water. No contend-now expectation. Hungry fans who would be satisfied by an exciting eager competitive team. The fan base is a no-brainer fit for Lin, of course. Their coach is even an all-time PG.

      I like it.

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    4. Add: the players that the Warriors have fit the style Lin played for D'Antoni.

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    5. Nice idea and Lacob loves Lin. However I have a feeling the feng shui is not quite there for him in gs vs. ny. I know first time around he didnt get a chance and has matured so much since then, so logically he should succed at g.s., but my intuition is telling me otherwise. Just a hunch.

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  9. This article is wrong I think. The maximum contract Jeremy can get is $24 million over 4 years.

    You would think he would be deserving of that contract with all the hype and money he's brought to NY. But reportedly, Grunwald is not even going to pre-empt and sign him to that size of a contract and is waiting for the market to determine his value. As of now, haven't heard any news of any team offering Lin any sort of contract so don't be surprised if he signs for less.

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    1. No you're wrong. Lin can get 4/36 from a team with enough cap room

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    2. Potentially, Lin can sign for as little as 1 year 1 mil or the Knicks qualifying offer.

      Lin can make more than 4 years 24 mil if a team backloads an offer after the 1st 2 GAP years. Based on his years in the NBA (2), Lin's annual max is about 13 mil. So the max offer Lin could receive is 4 years for about 36 mil (5/5/13/13).

      The Knicks are gambling the market for Lin won't exceed whatever highest offer they're willing to make.

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  10. Is it just me or do you all feel slighted by the Knicks' hot pursuit of Steve Nash? I mean apparently they are willing to give up young assets and offer a 10m plus/year contract. They are certainly not looking to spend this much as a backup to Jeremy. I mean what a message this sends to Jeremy that they want a player who plays the same position as him so much and it just shows they completely have no confidence in him as a starter going into next season. As humble as Jeremy is, I can't imagine this wouldn't hurt his feelings.

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    1. I want Lin to start, but I can understand the Knicks perspective. This is Steve Nash, not a 2nd tier PG like Raymond Felton, Derek Fisher, Kirk Hinrich, Ramon Sessions, or even Goran Dragic. Of the free-agent PGs, only Nash and maybe Andre Miller have a clear edge over Lin to start, except Miller is also old and backed up Ty Lawson last season.

      The Knicks have a 2, maybe 3 year, window with the Anthony/Stoudemire/Chandler core (Anthony has a player option in 2014-15). Unlike some top teams, the Knicks need a floor-general PG in order to function.

      Lin is a rising Nash-type PG. Nash is the original Nash-type PG. As with any up-and-coming player, Lin still has questions to answer. You know what you're getting with Nash. He's at the end of his career, noticeably slipping, and still has chronic back problems, but should have enough of his Hall-of-Fame game left to last through the Knicks window.

      If the Knicks unexpectedly signed Nash, it would be understandable for Lin to to accept an offer to be the starting PG position elsewhere. It would also be understandable for Lin to view playing with Nash as an opportunity to learn from the best, understand playing with the Knicks veterans as his best opportunity to develop with a contender, know that he'll still play a lot of minutes because Nash's MPG will be restricted and the Knicks are weak at SG, and expect that the slowing Nash will cede the starting PG role to Lin within 3 years, quite possibly 2 years.

      At this point of Lin's career, how much is being a starting PG worth to him?

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    2. Steve Nash better watch out.

      Jeremy Lin is going to HAMMER him in practice, just like he completely bullied Baron Davis.

      Steve Nash cannot battle Lin and on court opponents day in and day out. Expect to see some inconsistent play from Nash if the Knicks get him.

      One way to solve this is to start Jeremy Lin alongside Nash. Lin would be a fine NBA shooting guard.

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    3. Take Andre Miller off the board. It's being reported he's agreed to re-up with the Nuggets. So now, only Nash is a clear threat to Lin's starting role.

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  12. One of the keys to Jeremy's success this upcoming season, is for the Knicks to sign a quality back-up point guard to carry some of the weight. Lin shouldn't play 40+ minutes every night, he did during Linsanity and it resulted in exhaustion, more turnovers, and being "exposed" by the Miami defense.

    Knicks need a veteran point guard off the bench. Andre Miller is gone, signed a 3 year deal to stay in Denver. So that leaves Felton, Louis Williams, Johnny Flynn, Jason Kidd, and 35-year old Argentine import Pablo Prigioni. Steve Nash would never come off the bench.

    Knicks need to trade away Tony Douglas, he has no point guard skills and is only a shooter.

    Scott Machado did not get a contract offer from the Knicks.

    I think the best case scenario would be to sign Jason Kidd or Felton as a backup.

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    1. Ideally, the Knicks sign a guard who will back up Lin and can play with Lin.

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    2. Completely agree.

      The Knicks already have a player like that: JR Smith.

      I feel that JR Smith has gotten a bad rap over the years. He's played for a lot of coaches and teams that have tried to put reins on his game. What JR Smith really needs is a coach who just lets him play and lives with the occasional boneheaded creative mistake.

      JR Smith selected the Knicks because Jeremy Lin was there. I thought he did a very nice job alongside Lin. Over time, I think that Lin's unselfish play would stabilize JR Smith and they would be a potent backcourt combo.

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  14. What Jeremy wants is to play basketball in NBA, be happy in doing so, and make a good contribution to his team.

    I believe his primary objective right now is not to get a big salary from a backloaded contract, but to strike a deal for his long-term development.

    That being said, I think money is still an important factor involved because in NBA and other businesses as well, money in many ways represents respect. Therefore, Jeremy needs his agents to help him get a contract to safeguard his development and the respect he deserves.

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    1. 2 birds with 1 stone if a bad team offers Lin the backloaded deal and the Knicks, Lin's best opportunity to develop, match.

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    2. It may be 3 or 4 or MORE birds with one stone if Lin a bad team is smart enough to take Lin.

      Lin will attract free agents seeking to receive passes from him. He'll also elevate the play of every player that steps on the court with him.

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