See the image above? It’s not Photoshop. It’s Jeremy Lin in a Rockets jersey circa 2011. Right about the time the lockout was officially over and teams had to make their roster cuts, that picture faded into oblivion and the next one was Jeremy Lin in the jersey of the New York Knicks. We know the story from there. Now the Rockets and GM Daryl Morey get a chance to play “real life revisionist history” by watching the Knicks essentially let Lin walk and the Havard bred PG sign with the Rockets for 3 years & $25 million.
The Rockets tossed in the poison pill of $15 million in the final year and that was a one device the Knicks brass couldn’t quite swallow. The news only made for even more bad P.R. on Broadway when Jason Kidd got popped for a DUI this past weekend and Raymond Felton may or may not turn into the Ray Felton that flourished with the Knicks before getting dealt in the Compton Swap Meet that was the Carmelo Anthony trade.
Did the Knicks do the wrong thing by letting Lin walk knowing it was his desired wish to stay in New York? Possibly in terms of a marketing strategy. Lin made people care about the Knicks again across the country after a floundering start to the season and a near end that saw them claw their way to the 7th seed out East. The entire situation could have been avoided if Lin didn’t even sign the Rockets offer sheet and now NYC is left looking at the Knicks with the same face Martin gave Tommy all those times he made mention of the word “job”.
Lin to the Rockets makes the Rockets a name again in the same way having Yao Ming made them a name. Does it equal playoffs? Of course not since the entire team looks like a summer league squad playing with the pros. Outside of Disgruntled Kevin Martin, Chandler Parsons & Patrick Patterson, the main rotation from 2012 is gone and the Rockets seemingly have their sights still set on Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum.
Landing either one of them improves this team.
Landing neither tells us that Tank City 2012 is alive and kicking.
The H-Town scenarios play like this. We know Lin will be the leading vote getter come ASG time and might even be the city’s representative given how Yao Ming owned fan voting during his brief career thanks to his Asian fans. Lin might average 16 and 5 given the fact the rest of the team (unless Martin pulls a reverse “Actin’ Up” and begins to play up to the last year of his deal) isn’t that great shooting. He may run the pick & roll with Donatas Motiejunas and the Rockets might win 22-30 games next season. With Howard, they make the playoffs. With Bynum, they make the 8th seed at least and if they keep their core of rookies or as Morey likes to refer them as “assets” together for at least this season, then maybe there’s a chance this is good money into a good situation.
If Lin’s a flash in the pan? The Knicks will look like geniuses, something that hasn’t been said about a James Dolan owned franchise since the dawn of time.