GM: Financial issues forced Knicks to let Jeremy Lin go
Greenburgh, NY, United States (4E Sports) – New York Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald explained that financial issues forced the team to let former point guard Jeremy Lin move to the Houston Rockets in the offseason.
“Basically, it comes down to the fact that Houston made a commitment to him that we weren’t prepared to make,” Grunwald said, referring to Houston’s 3-year, $25.1 million offer to Lin, including a $14.8 million payment in the third year.
The Knicks decided not to match Houston’s offer to Lin as they would be subjected to a luxury tax in the third year, bringing their total out-of-pocket cost for the team’s salary to about $43 million in 2014-15.
“But I’m very happy for Jeremy that things worked out for him personally and for his family and I wish him the best,” said Grunwald, adding that the team is happy with current point guards, Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton.
“I’m more excited for our team, the team we assembled right now. … We’re very excited and optimistic about this coming year,” Grunwald said.
“I’m not going to discuss Jeremy Lin. I think as a franchise we wish Jeremy nothing but the best. It’s a process that we went through and we were able to get a player by the name of Raymond Felton, and a guy by the name of Jason Kidd,” said coach Mike Woodson.
After deciding not to match Houston’s offer, the Knicks then re-acquired Felton in a sign-and-trade with the Portland Trail Blazers.
In his previous stint with the Knicks, Felton averaged 17 points and nine assists in 54 games during the 2010-11 season. He was traded to Denver in February of that year in the Carmelo Anthony trade.
Felton admitted that he reported to Portland camp last year out of shape, leading to an average of just 11.5 points and 6.5 assists on 41 percent shooting.
“I was out of shape when we first went there,” Felton said. “I’m in shape now, ready to go and I’ve got a big, big chip on my shoulder. So I look forward to this season and I’m definitely happy to be back in this New York Knicks jersey.”
The Knicks also acquired veterans Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas and Kidd in the offseason, and are expected to bring 38-year-old Rasheed Wallace into training camp to surround the team’s core of Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler with veterans.
“We felt that we needed veteran pieces around those guys,” Woodson said. “(There aren’t) young guys who are winning NBA titles.”