The New York Knicks let Jeremy Lin leave for Houston in the strangest and most controversial move of the NBA offseason.They didn’t explain the move at the time, and we went through the summer without a peep about Lin from owner Jim Dolan, GM Glen Grunwald or any other member of the team’s top brass.
At training camp yesterday, Grunwald talked about the move for the first time, in brief and non-specific terms:
“It comes down to Houston made a commitment to him we weren’t prepared to make. I’m very happy for Jeremy that things worked out for him personally and his family and wish him the best. But I’m more excited about our team right now.”
You could read that as Grunwald saying it came down to money — that the Knicks balked at Lin’s $14.8 million price tag in 2014-15. But “commitment” is ambiguous enough that you can’t really say that for sure.
The rest of the team is equally disinterested in explain what happened. Here’s what coach Mike Woodson said:
“I’m not going to discuss Jeremy Lin.”
Since Lin left a number of theories for why the Knicks would let him go have surfaced. The most popular is that Dolan felt slighted that the Rockets upped their offer for Lin after originally agreeing to a smaller contract.
But Dolan has yet to speak about it, so we don’t know.
The only rational explanation we could come up with at the time is that the Knicks weren’t sold on Lin as a player. The contract, while large, wouldn’t make the team’s already shaky cap situation any worse, and Lin would still be tradeable before the salary number escalates in that third year.
In the end we might never know the real reason. Everyone involved with the Knicks appears to be moving on from the ordeal, and the time for explanations seems to have passed:
Woodson fields Lin question, promptly starts talking about Felton, Kidd, and Prigioni.
— Seth Rosenthal (@seth_rosenthal) October 1, 2012
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