How Much Money To Keep Lin?

There’s a big stink being made by Knicks fans about the team letting Jeremy Lin go to the Houston Rockets as a restricted free agent. Anger is being aimed toward the team, owner James Dolan and even at Lin himself over this issue. But the anger here is ridiculous.

Lin played regularly for just 26 games this past season before getting injured. It was the first regular playing time of his career. He showed fans that he can play at an elevated level and the fans loved him for it. But it was just 26 games.

I don’t mean to demean Lin or minimize the tremendous contribution he made to the Knicks last season but after just 26 games of regular playing time I think it would be fair to say he’s still a developing player. Yes, a developing player with some solid cred to build on and a starting job going into camp. But still a developing player.

Should a developing player be given a $25.3 million contract over 3 years? And what about the luxury tax hit the team will take for Lin? (The luxury tax could be as much as $50 million.)

If Lin started all last year and managed to keep up a consistently high level of play I’d be all in. But this is an awfully large sum of money to invest on a player based on such a small sample size of games regardless of the level of performance in those games. I’ll be happy if the Knicks end up signing Lin but not upset at them if they don’t.

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