The Houston Rockets and general manager Daryl Morey altered their offer sheet for point guard Jeremy Lin, bumping the guaranteed money in the deal from $19 million to $25 million. Lin agreed to an offer sheet with the Rockets when he visited Houston last week, and was then expected to make it official this week when the NBA's free agency moratorium ended. That agreement was a backloaded deal reportedly worth $28.8 million over four years, with a team option on the final year.
But Lin traveled to Las Vegas on Friday to meet with the Rockets and both sides renegotiated a new deal. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks were unaware of Lin's visit to Las Vegas and are angered by the new agreed-upon offer sheet. The new deal is for three years and $25 million, all of it guaranteed. The team option fourth year has been wiped out, and the backloaded third year jumped from $9.3 million in the original offer to $14 million in the newly signed sheet.
Berman cited a source who indicated that Morey re-arranged the offer sheet because of the widespread reports that the Knicks would match any and all offers for the restricted Lin:
According to a source, Morey upped the offer because he heard the Knicks easily would match the old offer and had lost all his point guards.
The increased third year "poison pill" will likely have dramatic luxury-tax implications for James Dolan and the Knicks, should they match. They are scheduled to have $87 million committed to just eight players in three years, which should be well above the luxury tax line.
While Morey is citing a dearth of point guards as a reason for re-doing the deal, he's also clearly taking advantage of the Knicks proclamations that they would match, including one comical report stating they would match "any offer up to $1 billion dollars." The Knicks now have three days to match.