Jeremy Lin, pictured here in a Rockets jersey during the 2011 preseason, could be headed back to Houston. (Bill Baptist/Getty Images)
New York Knicks restricted free-agent Jeremy Lin received a multiyear offer from the Rockets on Wednesday evening after spending the day with the team in Houston, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
Houston's multiyear offer to Jeremy Lin includes back-loaded money designed to hit the Knicks hard on the luxury tax, sources close to Lin said.
The contract could be structured in similar fashion to the three-year, $25 million offer the Rockets made to Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik when the free agency period began on July 1. That offer will give Asik $5 million per year for the first two seasons and then $15 million in the third year.
Players cannot sign with a team until July 11. A team in jeopardy of losing a restricted free-agent has three days to decide whether to match the offer. Assuming Lin agrees to the deal on July 11, the Knicks will have until July 14 to decide whether to match Houston's offer.
Lin played in two games for the Rockets in the 2011 preseason but was cut before the season began to clear-cap space to sign Samuel Dalembert. The Knicks picked him off the waivers three days later.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said following his offer to Lin on Wednesday that the team cutting Lin back in December probably worked out in Lin's best interest for the long run:
"Even if he stayed here, we probably wouldn't have recognized his talent as much as we should’ve," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said. "He probably wouldn’t have played much at all, and then would’ve been released at the end of the year. I didn’t know he could play this well, and if I did, we would’ve kept him."