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No Looking Back, Knicks Let Lin Walk

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks looks on during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on February 23, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann, Getty Images

New York Knicks fans were overcome with Linsanity, his ability to Linstigate points from an injury depleted offense and how he found a way to help a struggling team Lin-Lin-Lin. Almost as quickly as Jeremy Lin swept up the hearts and emotion of Knicks fans around the globe, it is now official that Lin’s reign as king of the court in New York is over.

After sources close to the Knicks originally said the team was willing to match any offer ” upto a billion dollars”, the Knicks have decided that 3-years and $25 million dollars was too much.

The Houston Rockets, who let Lin walk away last season and into the Knicks locker room, made the three year offer that the Knicks decided not to match, mostly because of the way the deal was structured, reports Sports Illustrated

The Knicks said they would match any offer to retain Lin, but the Rockets made it tough for New York to keep 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.

This is a surprise given his popularity and reports that the team would do anything to keep him, but the writing has been on the wall. The Knicks could have matched Houston’s offer as early as last Wednesday July 11th, but they did not.

In the meantime, they made a sign-and-trade deal to re-acquire Raymond Felton – who was sent to the Nuggest in 2011 as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade – along with Kurt Thomas, a Knick fan-favorite during his seven year stint with the team that ended in 2005.

In exchange for Felton and Thomas, New York shipped Jared Jeffries, Dan Gadruzic, a 2016 second round draft pick, and the draft rights to Greek ball players Georgios Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou. Papanikolau was New York’s second round pick in this year’s draft.

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