Has Jeremy Lin, who will miss the remainder of the season with a torn meniscus, played his last game with the New York Knicks? Lin will be a free agent at season's end and, in theory, could land somewhere else.
But thanks to the Gilbert Arenas rule, Lin is likely to remain in the Big Apple.
Under current NBA rules, restricted free agents with two or fewer years in the league cannot be offered more than the league's average salary (upwards of $5 million per season), which allows incumbent teams to match offer sheets even if they are over the salary cap. The rule was introduced in 2005. In 2003, Gilbert Arenas, a restricted free agent after two seasons with the Golden State Warriors, signed a $60 million deal with the Washington Wizards. The Warriors couldn't match under league rules.
The Knicks could sign Lin to a multi-year deal starting at the average salary with an early termination option a couple of years in, which would allow Lin to recapture market value fairly soon. There's no doubt other teams will line up to offer Lin the maximum salary he's eligible for if the Knicks don't handle it quickly.