The New York Knicks are desperate to make an upgrade at point guard, and they apparently have interest in bringing back Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin, according to ESPN's Chad Ford on Grantland's Bill Simmons' podcast.
The Rockets are actively shopping Lin, according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears, as the point guard is owed about $15 million next season due to the back-loaded contract he signed two offseasons ago. The cap hit for Lin is only about $8.37 million, but that $15 million actual payment is tough to swallow.
With the Knicks desperately wanting a point-guard upgrade over Raymond Felton, perhaps they'd be willing to stomach that balloon payment, despite the fact that it was they who allowed Lin to go to the Rockets after the Linsanity craze in 2011-12. The difference, however, is that if New York had matched Houston's offer, the cap hit for next season would have been that $15 million that Lin is owed in actual salary. So Lin's contract wouldn't be quite as cumbersome next year if they acquired him now, and he'd expire in time for the summer of 2015, when Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani come off the books.
Of course, the issue with any possible Knicks trade is the fact that they lack significant assets to get a deal done. Ford mentions Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. as possible trade pieces, but New York has been hesitant to include Hardaway in trade discussions. The Knicks also have very little to offer in terms of draft picks.
Something else to consider about Lin returning to New York is how he would mesh with Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks would like to do anything they can to keep Anthony happy in order to get him to re-sign in the offseason, and it's unclear if a trade for Lin would do that. Anthony and Lin did have some chemistry issues on the court in 2011-12, and there were some rumblings that Anthony was jealous of Linsanity.
Lin is having a solid season for the Rockets, averaging 13.3 points and 4.5 assists while shooting 46.5 percent overall and 34.0 percent from three. Kyle Lowry and Jeff Teague may be more preferable options for the Knicks, but they don't appear very likely, although a Lin deal may be even less likely.