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Nets, Mavericks and Raptors Interested In Jeremy Lin

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#1 LALakersFan4Life


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Posted May 13, 2012 - 10:21 AM

Mike Woodson 'Absolutely' Expects Knicks To Re-Sign Jeremy Lin

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By Jared Zwerling | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson said restricted free agent Jeremy Lin will "absolutely" be back next season with the team.

But as the starting point guard? Woodson wouldn't commit, saying Lin "still has a ways to go" to improve his game.

"Jeremy's a big part of our team, and will he start? Only time will tell," Woodson told reporters Thursday morning at the Knicks' training facility where players had their exit interviews with the coach. "He's still got to recover from his knee and use this summer to really work on his game to put himself in the best position possible for our ballclub. He has started for our team and he has played well for our basketball team. But this summer will be very pivotal for him in terms of his improvement, and the future's very bright for him."

In 35 games during the regular season, Lin averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists per game. When Lin was leading the team to a 6-1 stretch in mid-March right after Woodson took over for Mike D'Antoni, five players (including Lin) were scoring in double figures, and the Knicks were averaging 100.9 points per game and holding opponents to only 86.9.

"It just depends on the team," Lin said Thursday. "Coming off the bench versus starting, that means something, but it doesn't mean that much. There are guys who play pivotal roles who come off the bench. ... I need to be a lot better. I need to make sure I'm a lot better, a lot healthier, and that's my focus for the offseason. And then once training camp starts, wherever I'm at, I'm all about trying to make that team better."

Looking ahead, the biggest area for Lin to build on, which will be a major factor as Woodson considers whether to start him, is how the guard will handle defensive pressure consistently. During the height of "Linsanity," from Feb. 6 to March 24, he averaged 4.5 turnovers per game. But Lin did cut down on his mistakes shortly before he got hurt.

Thanks to a clause in the CBA -- named after Gilbert Arenas -- no other team can offer Lin more than the $5 million mid-level exception, and the Knicks have the right to match those offers.

Therefore, Lin is considered a virtual lock to be re-signed come July 1, the start of free agency.

"There's always going to be uncertainty until the final contract is signed, so definitely nothing is set in stone," Lin said. "Nothing's set in stone until it's really written."

Woodson's comments still left the door open for the courtship of a player like Steve Nash, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

It's been reported that Nash wants a three-year deal -- he is, after all, still playing at an All-Star level at 38 years old -- and the Knicks likely would be able to offer him only the veteran's minimum of $1.4 million.

Amare Stoudemire on Thursday reiterated that he'd welcome Nash to New York, but also expressed support for Lin.

"What team wouldn't want a two-time MVP, an assist leader, a veteran point guard? But we do have Jeremy Lin here and we have confidence in what he can do for us," Stoudemire said.

Carmelo Anthony is a "big believer" in what Lin can do next season. But, most importantly, Anthony wants Lin to recover from his left knee injury, which was operated on April 2 to repair a small chronic meniscus tear.

"I want him to get healthy, come back at full strength and see what happens from there," Anthony said. "He's still a part of the team and we want him. We love what he's done for our team, what he's done for the organization and what he's done for the city."

"I'll never forget what an organization or a person or somebody does for me. I'll remember the New York Knicks," Lin said. "They're the ones who picked me up off of waivers. They let me stay here for the season. Mike D'Antoni gave me the freedom to do everything. He trusted me more than I've had a coach trust me since college. Then with Woodson taking over, making that extra push going into the playoffs, I'll remember all of that. That will always mean something to me. I'll always want to feel like I need to give back to the organization."

Reflecting on the Miami Heat series, Tyson Chandler said the Knicks definitely missed Lin's presence on the court. Anthony averaged 27.8 points in five games, shooting 41.9 percent, but the team couldn't generate enough secondary scoring.

One of the main reasons was because the Knicks lacked a consistent pick-and-roll playmaker (Lin) who could set up Chandler and Stoudemire off screens and find J.R. Smith and Steve Novak spotting up from 3-point territory.

In fact, Novak was only 4-for-7 from beyond the arc in the series. The older and hobbled Baron Davis and Mike Bibby couldn't weave through the Heat's defense enough and Smith, who occasionally ran point, settled for too many jump shots. But Lin, at 100 percent, would've been able to put more pressure on the Heat with his quickness, ballhandling and passing.

"He's a very explosive guard," Chandler said. "I think leading up to him getting hurt, I felt like he was losing a step because he had injuries that a lot of us didn't know about. And so, that explosiveness and attack-first, getting to the cup, we could've used that for sure."

In addition to Lin, Woodson said he would love to see Smith and Novak re-sign with the team. At this point, Novak is more likely to return than Smith, who sources have said will opt out because his $2.6 million player option for next season that he can exercise is below his market value. But Smith said on Thursday that he would like to be back "without a doubt."

"Steve Novak and J.R. were a big part of what we've done so far this season and there's room for growth for them as well," Woodson said. "I would love to see those two men come back and play a big role in our Knicks' success."

The Knicks are surrounded by plenty of questions, including who will become the team's next coach and what will they do about initially replacing starting shooting guard Iman Shumpert, who's out until about December with a left torn ACL and lateral meniscus. Woodson, who hopes to earn full-time status after serving on an interim basis since March 14, addressed the latter and said he'll discuss Shumpert's situation in the coming days.

For now, it was time to reflect on a positive season.

"Nothing negative," Woodson said. "I think the experience and the kind of the season we've had from an injury standpoint, we still withstood a lot of the injuries and was able to make the playoffs. The playoffs weren't what we expected, but the fact that some of the young guys got the opportunity to experience playoff basketball. Being their first time together, and Amare and Carmelo and Tyson, the future looks very bright."


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Posted May 13, 2012 - 10:22 AM

Report: Raptors Want Jeremy Lin

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The Raptors are also a potential landing spot for Jeremy Lin. They like him and what he'd do for their attendance, but Toronto would have to "back-load" an offer to the restricted free agent, paying him gazillions in the final couple of years of a deal, and hope that the Knicks would not match. According to league sources, that's what the Raptors just might do if their Nash plan falls through. But considering that the Knicks have no other viable options at point guard, and Lin has been nothing short of a marketing dream, they're seen as a lock to match any offer.


#3 Air Apparent

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Posted May 13, 2012 - 10:27 AM

i still can't believe that raps vs knicks game during linsanity craze, real fans were embarrassed how much a home crowd cheered for the game winner, but he would definitely fill the seats (and if they somehow get nash which i doubt because he clearly hates all canadian teams lol) team might actually make the playoffs in the east, they have a decent young squad




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Posted May 13, 2012 - 11:24 AM

^ Didn't know Canada or Toronto specifically had such a huge Asian population.


#5 JEN



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Posted May 13, 2012 - 11:29 AM

Ya there's quite a bit of Asians up in Canada, particularly the Chinese and Vietnamese

Edited by JEN, May 13, 2012 - 11:31 AM.

#6 pointguard11



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Posted May 13, 2012 - 12:06 PM

rather have Lin than Sessions. Great court vision and really understands the pg position. Doesn't shy away from attacking the rim either.
"The way Steve is as a teammate, the way he sets the tone, the way the team kind of takes on his persona. As a coach, that's the best thing in the world. It's easy to coach. He's taking care of the chemistry. You just coach."

Mike D'Antoni



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Posted May 13, 2012 - 12:14 PM

^ Unless Mike Brown tells him to slow it down.


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Posted June 26, 2012 - 09:23 AM

Jeremy Lin's Agent To Pursue Offers Beyond Knicks

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Last Updated: 1:39 PM, May 21, 2012

Free agency is 5 1/2 weeks away, but Jeremy Lin’s agent already is setting the groundwork for what could be a complicated negotiation.

Roger Montgomery, in a rare interview, told The Post nothing is assured regarding Lin’s Knicks future, despite interim coach Mike Woodson’s declaration the global phenom — who becomes a restricted free agent on July 1 — would “absolutely’’ return.

When asked if he expects the Knicks negotiation to be cut-and-dried, Montgomery forewarned: “I don’t expect that. We’re not anticipating that’s going to happen. We don’t have assurances of anything. I know history shows most restricted free agents go back to their team, but I’m not going to assume anything. We’re waiting to see what happens.’’

Montgomery’s emphatic remarks — coupled with Lin’s “nothing’s set in stone’’ comment on Trash Bag Day — seem to be strategic messaging.

There is a possibility the Knicks will force Lin, 24, and his reps to find the point guard’s market value by first signing an offer sheet from another team, which must project Lin’s potential from a 26-game window when he played starter’s minutes.

Lin, who made $762,000 this season, also must find a club that feels the Knicks won’t match the offer. The good news for Montgomery is in the new collective bargaining agreement, teams have just three days to match an offer, less than the prior seven-day window that hamstrung teams.

Montgomery must create the impression the Knicks are not locks to retain Lin to spur teams to present an offer sheet. A source confirmed Toronto, which has a large Chinese population, will be one suitor.

The Knicks ultimately control Lin’s destiny because they cannot be outbid. And if the Players Association wins its arbitration hearing and restores Lin’s early Bird rights, it is a virtual certainty the Knicks will match any offer because the Bird exception means teams can exceed the salary cap to re-sign players.

That would allow the Knicks to keep their $5 million mid-level exception to sign a solid, veteran point guard from a list that starts with Steve Nash but also includes Jameer Nelson, Andre Miller, Ramon Sessions, Lou Williams and Raymond Felton.

A source said the arbitration hearing date will be set this week. If the union loses and the Knicks need their $5M mid-level exception to re-sign Lin, it could get trickier.

Under the CBA, teams under the cap — such as Toronto — can offer Lin the league’s average salary of about $5M for the first two years, then jack the third and fourth years to the maximum of $15 million. The club is permitted to do so only if it is far enough below the cap to take in the average wage of Lin’s four-year offer. Such a “back-loaded offer’’ causes concerns for the Knicks, who by the third year of Lin’s contract would be well over the luxury-tax apron of $74 million, costing them a heavy tax and their full mid-level exception as a taxpayer.

However, the financial boon of having Lin as a Knick for the next four years may be too sweet to consider future luxury-tax penalties. The Knicks’ merchandising in the U.S. and Asia may go through the roof as owner James Dolan looks to recoup the $850 million he invested into the Garden transformation. Lin’s No. 17 jersey was the second-biggest seller in the NBA for the year despite only being available from February on.

On the basketball side, Lin plays the position at which the Knicks are neediest. If they are comfortable his rehab from a torn meniscus finishes well, it will be tough for them not to match, even for their entire $5M mid-level exception.

Montgomery said Lin is in the final stages of his rehab and will head to his native Northern California soon.

“He’s doing well, trying still [to] get stronger and heal,’’ Montgomery said.

The hope is for Lin to participate in July’s Olympic training camp as a member of the U.S. Select Team that practices against Team USA. However, if he is still unsigned, that could be curtailed.

“It hasn’t been settled, but he’d be excited to do it,’’ Montgomery said.



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Posted June 26, 2012 - 09:28 AM

Mike Woodson Confident Jeremy Lin Will Re-Sign With Knicks

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Last Updated: 10:03 AM, June 26, 2012

Mike Woodson may have sealed the deal in Hollywood with Jeremy Lin.

Woodson returned from a five-day bonding session in Los Angeles with Lin, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler, and is more positive than ever Lin will re-sign with the Knicks this July.

In his first in-person interview since being hired as Knicks coach on Memorial Day Weekend, Woodson told The Post the visit was rewarding and he got a clear sense Lin is ready to re-sign.

Lin becomes a restricted free agent on Sunday, and the Knicks can match any offer.

“Absolutely he’s going to be back,’’ Woodson said at Ahmad Rashad’s charity golf outing in Scarsdale that raised $300,000 for White Plains Hospital. “We like what he brings to the table. He’s our starting point guard. He’s a young point guard who’s still learning, and he’s going to be better. That’s what happens to good, young players. If they work at their craft, they’ll be much better for it. Absolutely, he wants to be here.’’

Lin flew into L.A. from his home in Palo Alto, Calif. Chandler lives in L.A. and is working out in tandem with Anthony as they gear up for Team USA’s Olympic training camp in Las Vegas beginning July 5. Lin is on the U.S. Select Team.

Woodson wined and dined the trio on two straight nights, including one in Beverly Hills captured on video footage by TMZ. Woodson said he flew with assistant coaches Darrell Walker and Jim Todd and staged workouts with the players. Woodson also went to Anaheim to work out Landry Fields, who also is set to become a free agent.

Woodson felt it important to get together with Lin, Anthony and Chandler. Anthony and Lin did not always mesh on the court and Lin seemed to be more comfortable under Mike D’Antoni’s coaching.

“He’s a big part of what we’re doing,’’ Woodson said of Lin. “All those guys are big pieces of the puzzle as far as moving forward with the ballclub. To be able to go out and sit with them, gives them a chance to bond. It gives me a chance and my staff a chance to get a piece of them on the court as well in terms of working them out.

“That’s the main focal point in trying to visit our players this summer,’’ Woodson added. “The development process is important. When you have a summer developmental program, you can’t be lazy behind it. You got to push guys to get better. We’re going to need that.’’

The Knicks will select 48th in Thursday’s draft, then head to free agency Sunday. The union’s victory in restoring Bird rights for Lin and Steve Novak has increased the Knicks’ flexibility. In particular, Novak now can be re-signed, and they will have a mid-level exception to use on a free agent, though it may be the mini-midlevel of $3 million for luxury-tax payers rather than the full $5 million midlevel. The NBA has appealed the union’s win in arbitration.

“I think it’s great for our team as far as trying to move forward,’’ Woodson said. “It helps us.’’

The Knicks’ first-round playoff loss to the eventual champion Heat gave Woodson renewed belief in their chances next season. The Knicks lost in five games — the same number as the Thunder in the Finals — but were wracked by a spectacular amount of injuries and bad luck.

“We really are not that far away when you look at it,’’ Woodson said. “I like everything Miami did. Coach Spo [Erik Spoelstra] did a great job. LeBron, Wade and Bosh had a lot to do with it. The threesome worked. They got exactly where they wanted in terms of winning the title, and we’re trying to get there. No, we’re not that far away, but again we got to be a little lucky and stay healthy.’’

Phil Jackson, who was not contacted by the Knicks about their coaching position, would differ. Last week, Jackson called the Knicks “a clumsy team,’’ saying Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire don’t work together.

“Phil is a great coach,’’ Woodson said. “He’s done wonderful things for our league. I wish him the best on what he decides to do, but I like our chances. I like our team and the makeup of our team. Sure, we got work ahead of us, but we’ll be just fine.”

With Iman Shumpert out until January and Baron Davis out next season because of serious knee injuries, the Knicks want to bulk up in the backcourt. Woodson met recently in New York with veteran Spanish League point guard Pablo Prigioni.

“We want to explore all those things, in the draft and free-agent market,’’ Woodson said. “We’ve had some major injuries in Iman and Baron. Those are two pieces counted on last season. We have to think out of the box. That’s OK to snoop around and see how to make the ballclub better. [Prigioni] is on the radar, but a number of guys are on the radar.’’



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Posted July 01, 2012 - 10:20 PM

Nets, Mavericks and Raptors Interested In Jeremy Lin

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Chris Broussard
ESPN The Magazine

It has been a foregone conclusion for months that Jeremy Lin will re-sign with the New York Knicks, but sources close to the situation say the return of the free agent point guard is not as certain as it once seemed.

While both Lin and the Knicks are hoping for a reunion, sources say that if any clubs offer Lin, a restricted free agent, a backloaded contract that pays him an eight-figure salary in the third and fourth years, the Knicks could be given pause about matching the offer.

With the new collective bargaining agreement employing a more punitive luxury tax, beginning in the 2013-14 season, the Knicks are extremely concerned about the financial ramifications of such a deal.

Toronto is perhaps the only team that might consider offering Lin a backloaded contract, known as a "poison pill" deal. The Raptors are currently going all-out to sign Steve Nash. Toronto has offered Nash a three-year deal worth $36 million, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

But if Nash, who is also considering Phoenix, New York, Dallas and Brooklyn, rejects Toronto's offer, the Raptors may turn their attention toward Lin.

The Knicks can offer Lin a four-year deal worth $24.5 million. But an opposing team can offer Lin a poison pill that could go as high as $40 million over four years. Such a contract would pay Lin $5 million in each of the first two years and then go as high as $15 million in each of the last two years.

Matching such a contract would give the Knicks four players -- Lin, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler -- making more than $14 million in the 2014-2015 season. Those four players alone would have a combined salary of $72 million, nearly $2 million above the luxury tax.

While it may be doubtful that a club goes as high as $15 million in a season for Lin, even if one offered Lin roughly $10 million in the third and fourth years of a contract, the Knicks would be cautious about matching, according to a source.

Toronto, Dallas and Brooklyn have all expressed interest in Lin, according to sources, though he is a backup plan for each of the clubs.

The Knicks have said they plan to let the market dictate Lin's value, so they have not offered him a contract yet. With the ability to match any offer he receives, they plan to wait and see what Lin commands as a free agent. They just hope he doesn't command too much.




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Posted July 02, 2012 - 02:01 PM

I wouldn't mind seeing him go to Toronto and potentially back-up Steve Nash. After all, he's incredibly popular over there as well.


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