Could 'Linsanity' be coming to Houston?

Published On: Jul 06 2012 12:17:27 PM CDT
HOUSTON -

New York Knicks restricted free agent Jeremy Lin has agreed to sign a three-year deal with a fourth-year player option with the Houston Rockets. The question is -- will his current team match Houston's offer? Rocket's fans are hoping that answer is no.

"We want Jeremy Lin to come back to Houston," said Van Tang, a former season ticket holder who says he'd renew his tickets if Lin lands in Houston.

There's speculation that Lin might be agreeing to sign with the Rockets, which is due next Wednesday, in order to gain leverage with the Knicks.

In the meantime, Rockets fans are hoping that's not the case.

"We have a big Asian-American community here in Houston that would love to see Lin as a Rocket," said Tang.

Lin will sign his deal on July 11. The Knicks have three days to match that offer. The Knicks have repeatedly said that they plan to keep Lin.

The contract is worth $10.2 million over the first two seasons and $9.3 million in each of the last two years. The fourth season is a team option.

The Rockets had Lin in training camp, but waived him because they had already had Lowry and Goran Dragic on their roster. Now that they've traded Lowry, and with Dragic headed to Phoenix, Houston is trying to get Lin back.

Lin was claimed by the Knicks after the Rockets let him go and soon became New York's starting point guard and "Linsanity" ensued.

He averaged 14.6 points, 6.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 35 games with 25 starts before his season was cut short because of surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee.

Lin, who went undrafted out of Harvard, became a sensation with a remarkable stretch in February where he scored at least 20 points in nine of 10 games. A high point of that span came when he scored 38 points with seven assists in a 92-85 win over the Lakers on Feb. 10.

The Rockets are already popular in Asia because of the career of former star Yao Ming, who retired in 2011. With Yao's retirement, Lin could add to their appeal there as the first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese decent.

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