Report: Knicks could lose "Linsanity"

07/02/2012 4:48 PM ET
By Staff
“Linsanity” may not return for another season at Madison Square Garden after all.

Although both Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks are hoping to agree to a deal to keep the 23-year-old in the Big Apple, the Knicks could lose the restricted free agent to a back-loaded contract offer, according to reports.

Last week, both Lin and Steve Novak were awarded their early-Bird rights, a decision that would allow the Knicks to exceed the salary cap to re-sign both. As of now, the Knicks could offer Lin a maximum four-year deal worth $24.5 million – but that could be trumped by a team willing to sign the 23-year-old guard to a four-year deal that would pay him a modest sum in the first two years but bump him up to an eight-figure salary in the third and fourth years.

Having to match that kind of deal, known as a “poison pill deal” in NBA circles, would put the Knicks close to or over the NBA’s luxury tax threshold come 2014 – when changes to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement that impose a stiffer penalty on teams who exceed that cap would take effect.

The Knicks have yet to extend Lin, who averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists per game last season, a contract offer of any kind, but the Dallas Mavericks and the Brooklyn Nets have been reported to have interest in his services as well. comments