For once, not a lot has changed in the Dwight Howard situation except for the fact that the Orlando Magic are exploring other options besides the Nets-Clippers-Cavs mega deal. Meanwhile, Jeremy Lin, still waiting for the New York Knicks to match the offer from the Houston Rockets, is disappointed the team hasn’t moved to keep him quickly enough.
It’s not that the Knicks don’t want Lin, but they have a bit of a salary cap issue. A lot of money is already going to Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler in 8-digit annual salaries. Matching the offer for Lin, which is $28.8 million on a 4-year contract, especially with the $9 million Lin wants to make in the last two years of the contract, means the Knicks will be over the luxury tax just with those four players, which made them hesitant.
He was surprised that the Knicks didn’t make the first move. They know they’ve got to mend some fences with him because he believes what the Rockets have told him, that the Knicks weren’t as interested as they are. But Lin has to learn that this isn’t personal, it’s just business. The Knicks merely played by the rules. (Anonymous Source)
Seeing the Knicks make a lot of other moves (Signing Marcus Camby & Jason Kidd, re-signing Steve Novak and J.R. Smith) probably gave Lin more than one or two moments of second thoughts regarding his future with the team. Despite all that, the Knicks are expected to match the offer and keep Lin, who averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists last season on a $750,000 salary.
As expected, Tim Duncan isn’t going anywhere. After 14 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, Duncan will remain for three more years on the team he’s won four NBA titles with, on a contract worth $36 million. Duncan has declared himself a ‘Spurs for life’ numerous times, averaging 15.4 points and 9 rebounds last season, helping the Spurs to the Western Conference Final.
The Spurs didn’t just keep Duncan on the team but re-signed two more integral pieces of yet another 50 win season in 2011-2012. They signed Danny Green on a three-year, $11.3 million deal. Boris Diaw got a two-year, $9 million contract.
Blake Griffin, besides amusing his dream team teammates with off the wall dunks, signed the five year extension he was expected to ink with the Los Angeles Clippers, giving him $95 million dollars over that time span beginning in the 2013-2014 season. Griffin, the 2011 NBA Rookie of the year, helped the Clippers reach the playoffs last season for the first time since 2006, averaging 20.7 points and 11.9 rebounds per game.
In free agent moves, the Miami Heat keep adding veterans. After turning Ray Allen from a Celtic to a Judas according to some Celtics fans, Rashard Lewis, no longer one of the highest players in the NBA, has joined the team, signing a two-year, $2.8 million deal. Lewis had chances to make more money with other teams, but wanted a chance to compete for a title. He did reach the NBA finals once, playing for the Orlando Magic in 2009.
Lewis was traded to the New Orleans Hornets last month after a season with the Wizards, playing in only 28 games, averaging 7.8 points while suffering from a bothering knee injury. Lewis and Allen were teammates on the Seattle Supersonics team from 2003 to 2007, making the postseason together only once, in 2005.
Meanwhile, Lou Williams left the Philadelphia 76ers, signing with the Atlanta Hawks after opting out of the final year of his contract in Philly, passing on $5.3 million. The Hawks are believed to be signing him with their $5 million midlevel exception. Williams averaged 14.9 points last season for the 76ers, reaching the Eastern conference semifinals.