Just as quickly as Linsanity swept New York, it appears the Knicks have recovered. After initial reports said that the Knicks would match a huge offer from the Houston Rockets, it appears Lin is on his way to the lone-star state.
Lin burst onto the NBA scene last year, putting up ungodly numbers as an undrafted rookie who was living on a friend's couch. The Harvard graduate had put up a solid but unspectacular Ivy League career and seemed to be on his last professional basketball legs when he was suddenly thrust into the spotlight. The rave reviews over the Asian-American's performance, (scoring 25, 28, 23, 38, 20, and 37 points in his first games as a starter) led to the coining of the term "Linsanity."
For a while, it seemed as if Lin was a commodity that the Knicks would do anything to hold onto, announcing that they would match an offer to the restricted free-agent for 3 years and $25 million from the Rockets. New York's desire to keep the point guard seems to have evaporated over the last 48 hours thanks in large part to a sign and trade deal with the Portland Trailblazers. In the deal the Knicks acquired former North Carolina Tarheel (and New York Knick) Raymond Felton. A side-by-side comparison shows that Felton's numbers were fairly similar to Lin's final stats and he is expected to cost quite a bit less than the "ridiculous" contract offered by the Rockets.
Felton played in 54 games for the Knicks in the 2010-2011 season where he averaged 17.1 points, and 9.0 assists per game. He was traded to the Denver Nuggets late in the year in a three team deal that saw the Knicks acquire Carmelo Anthony.
Whether or not Lin's days in New York seem all but done, but the Knicks do still have the option of matching the contract, automatically retaining his rights. The final deadline for the decision is 11:59 PM Eastern time on Tuesday.