Knicks coach says Lin will be back
LAS VEGAS (AP)
Coach Mike Woodson repeated Wednesday that Lin will ''absolutely'' be back next season and will enter training camp as the starter at his position, even with the Knicks agreeing to a deal with veteran Jason Kidd.
Lin has agreed to sign an offer sheet with the Houston Rockets for about $28 million over four years. The Knicks have said all along they planned to match any offer for their restricted free agent, and Woodson said the Knicks ''never once'' blinked at knowing they would have to pay that figure.
The offer sheet still hasn't been signed and sent to the Knicks, who would then have three days to match, so Woodson said he couldn't comment much about it, but added that ''Jeremy Lin has always been a big part of what we we're trying to do as we move forward with our franchise.''
Lin took to his Twitter page Wednesday to deny a report that he was unhappy with the Knicks for not signing him right away and forcing him to get another offer first.
He earned the starting spot in February and emerged as a breakout star before his season was cut short by surgery to repair torn knee cartilage. Woodson said Lin would go into training camp as the starter because he doesn't believe players should lose their spots because of injury, and that he would benefit from playing with Kidd.
''Jason's a veteran guy that brings leadership and I thought it would be a perfect fit for Jeremy Lin in terms of being able to tutor him as he grows as a point guard for our franchise, and Jason can still play and run a ballclub,'' Woodson said before the Knicks' summer league team practiced. ''So that's important I think as we move forward.''
The deal that will pay Kidd about $3 million annually hasn't been completed, but the Knicks did get a couple finished Wednesday on the first day players could sign.
They acquired center Marcus Camby from Houston in a sign-and trade deal and re-signed guard JR Smith. Steve Novak also has agreed to come back with a four-year, $15 million deal, but that also wasn't completed Wednesday.
The Knicks signed forward James White from Europe, but Woodson said he wasn't sure if Landry Fields would be back. The starter at shooting guard most of the last two seasons has signed an offer sheet in Toronto worth about $20 million over three years.