Last night i was encouraging that everyone just wait a little bit and see how this whole situation would play out. Well, this morning it seems pretty certain that the Knicks won't match Lin's offer. You won't see Alan Hahn or anybody on ESPN say this, mainly because playing up the drama of a hurt relationship makes a better story to write in their dumb columns, but the bottom line is that this is an extremely dangerous precedent that has been set from the perspective of a Knicks fan.
Here is our situation:
No matter what we do, and no matter how much money we save over the next three years, we will still be over the cap and likely paying luxury tax, so the best we will have in the offseason are mini MLEs and sign and trades. For people who say Lin isn't worth the money, please just go back and read that last sentence one more time. The bottom line is that money spent this year for the duration of the next 3 years has no bearing on future flexibility, and only effects the wallet of James Dolan.
However, this thread is not about Jeremy Lin...I'm tired of people going back and forth arguing over whether he is "worth the money," so if that is what your qualm is with my post so far, please just hold on. This is about Dolan and the future of the Knicks organization.
The biggest thing to draw from this offseason is that the Knicks are not willing to pay significant luxury tax
Being a large market team, reading that is a very scary thought. Our whole advantage being in NY, the largest television market by far in the US, is that we allegedly do not have to play under the same rules as everyone else.
Exhibit A: Knicks refuse to sign Landry Fields
The deal was 5 million for the first 2 years, and 10 million for the third, which has an effective cost on NY of 27 million for year 3. I'm not going to argue for a minute that Landry fields is worth that kind of money, however, the deal is only 3 years, so just like the Lin offer, matching this would only cost money and not flexibility.
Exhibit B: Knicks *potentially* refuse to sign Jeremy Lin
This time the deal is 15 million in year 3, which has an effective cost of 40 million for the third year. Once again, I want to say that this thread is not about whether Lin is worth that money.
Exhibit C: Season ticket prices are set and the MSG T ime Warner deal is done
This is what I would like replies to focus on (if there are any). Take a look at MSG stock over the last six months:
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The end of January was when the Timewarner blackout of MSG stood in full effect. Linsanity began on Febuary fourth, with a deal being struck on Febuary 17th (the details of which emerged over the following few days). Notice the immediate two point jump in stock, worth approximately $100 million dollars to the Dolan Family. I'm not going to credit Lin for the entire six point gain since the whole fiasco, but on January 31st, the knicks were a team on a losing streak that nobody would watch. 3 Weeks later, it was an unimaginable crime and hardship to picture a third of New York City cable televisions blacked out to their games.
That is what Lin did for Dolan: 100 million in 2 weeks, and there is no denying that. However, this is where I get very disgusted. The Timewarner deal is done and old news. There will not be any renegotation, so losing Lin should have a minimal hit on the stock. Moreoever, the stadium will fill out whether or not Lin is there because the Knicks are a playoff team without him. Not matching these two offers is a cool 65 million in profit saved directly by Dolan.
Now for some foreshadowing
Why is this important? If we are unwilling to go over the luxury tax for guys like Field and Lin, we will not have the cap flexibility to match S&T cap numbers for our next crop of guys we try to lure to NY. We need to keep in mind that along with being a huge hit to the luxury tax, bumping up the third year of The Fields/Lin contracts also turns them in huge expiring contracts, which are also known as trade assets If 3 years from now there is a guy like Kevin Love saying he won't sign anywhere but NY, we could pretty much offer Lin for Love in a straight up deal, along with throwing in some draftpicks. Match the Landry offer as well, and we could throw in his expiring deal and take back a bad contract.
The bottom line is that I am very pissed off about the way this offseason is unfolding, and it demonstrates a willingness by Dolan to maximize his profits at the expense of the success of our team
Am I asking too much for Dolan to empty his wallets given the ticket prices we pay to go to games and market share that MSG currently has? As "ridiculous" as these contracts are, isn't it more ridiculous to see that the largest market in the NBA won't pay up for in the best case scenario, two game changing players, and in the worst case, two nice expiring contracts and trade bait in the next important FA offseason for the Knicks (The year that Chandler and Amare's contracts expire).