The New York Knicks are reportedly waiting to let the market speak on restricted free agent point guard Jeremy Lin before making an offer. Lin will likely sign with another team, giving the Knicks three days to match the offer sheet and retain his rights. The tactic could backfire, however, as Alex Kennedy at HoopsWorld reports. One team has reportedly offered Lin a "poison pill" contract, or a back-loaded deal that would force the Knicks to pay an exorbitant amount of money at the end of the contract length.
Lin could sign a contract that would pay him the minimum of $5 million in the first year and $5.25 million in the second, and then the max of $15 million in the third. The team that signs Lin has the leverage to average the cost out over the length of the contract, but the Knicks, in order to match the offer sheet, would have to pay the full amount of the third season. Considering how much money the team has tied up in Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler already, a "poison pill" deal could mean the end of Lin in New York.
The Knicks' decision to wait and see on Lin could come back to haunt them. It certainly hurt the Chicago Bulls in the case of center Omer Asik, who signed a very similar deal to the one reportedly offered to Lin. Of course, the potential addition of Steve Nash might soften the blow just a bit if Linsanity moves on.
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