With the New York Knicks gearing up to improve its roster once again this offseason, many are wondering if the team will look to make a splash with a big time acquisition. That remains to be seen, but there's no doubt signing Jeremy Lin would represent the biggest 12-point-per-game splash New York could possibly make.
The guard who sparked Linsanity back in 2012 is coming off an 11.7-point-per-game campaign in Charlotte. What's more, even though he's interested in returning to the Hornets, he's likely to decline his player option for next season first.
His potential availability, paired up with Jeff Hornacek's desire to run a more uptempo style featuring a multitude of guards, could very well open the door for both sides to explore a potential reunion, according to CBS Sports.
After becoming a worldwide phenomenon under the bright lights of the Big Apple, Lin has carved out a very steady role for himself as one of the league's most reliable role players during stops in Houston, Los Angeles and Charlotte. Ironically enough, much of what he brings to the court is exactly what the Knicks have lacked in a floor general over the last couple of years. His style of play is probably even more sorely needed under a coach like Hornacek. He'd be a good fit, for the right price.
Lin has good instincts, and at 27, he can provide a team with a rather intelligent and steady veteran presence. He's level-headed and is someone who likes to attack the basket and slash through the lane. Lin can penetrate with the best of them. Such assertiveness is something New York has certainly missed.
An obvious upgrade over Jose Calderon, Lin could very well start in New York. He's a low-maintenance kind of guy who could just as easily provide a spark off the bench. He could provide a nice balance next to Jerian Grant, and whoever else the Knicks look to bring in at the point guard position.
Should he opt to explore the market this summer, he could look for a deal that commands as much as $12 million annually, according to Steve Kyler. Whereas this would likely price himself out of the Hornets' market, it could very well make him too pricey for the Knicks as well. One would hope such a salary does, anyway. Lin is a good player, but New York has many voids to fill. Offering him that much money wouldn't leave the team with much more flexibility to improve elsewhere, in addition.
That said, there's no doubt that Lin could help the team. His return to New York would rock the basketball world, perhaps even too much so. In talking to SNY.tv on TheKnicksBlog.com podcast back in April, Lin's former Knicks teammate Landry Fields suggested a return may also provide too much of a distraction.
Regardless of whether or not Lin would fill a modest role this time around, there's no denying the type of history and fandom he has here. What's more, questions regarding his chemistry with Carmelo Anthony would undoubtedly resurface -- at least early on. Money aside, the Knicks would need to explore and see if the positive outweighs the negative with such a potential acquisition.
Nevertheless, with a need at point guard and skills to fill the void, Lin represents a viable option worth exploring.