What seemed a certainty days ago — that the New York Knicks would match any offer sheet for restricted free-agent guard Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets — became quite unclear Saturday night, after the Knicks agreed to terms with free-agent guard Raymond Felton in a sign-and-trade deal with Portland. The Knicks also received forward/center Kurt Thomas from the Blazers for a second tour of duty in New York. In exchange, the Knicks sent forward Jared Jeffries and center Dan Gadzuric to Portland.
Felton reportedly signed a three-year, $10 million contract with New York, a hefty deal for someone that wasn’t going to play very much as a third point guard. The Knicks already signed Jason Kidd to a three-year, $9.5 million deal earlier this month, and also have Argentinian guard Pablo Prigioni under contract.
Bringing back Lin, the undrafted guard out of Harvard who electrified crowds in New York in a three-week stretch in early February that was quickly dubbed “Linsanity,” seemed a formality. But unless the Knicks are planning to play Kidd much more at shooting guard next season, it would appear they have at least one point guard too many around.
The Rockets, according to a source, thought there was a chance Saturday that the Knicks wouldn’t match the offer sheet. New York will have three days from when it receives the sheet to decide whether to match it or not. If it matches the offer sheet, it can’t trade Lin until next July.