Despite reports that the Knicks brass and some of Lin's former teammates aren't too keen on bringing the popular point guard back to New York, Lin was hoping for a return, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.
Berman says a "Lin confidant" said Lin definitely wants the Knicks to match the Houston Rockets' $25 million offer for the point guard. Lin is a restricted free agent with New York, meaning the Knicks can keep him as long as they match any offers. Since Lin signed Houston's offer sheet Saturday, the Knicks have until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday to make their move.
Lin had expressed disappointment with the Knicks earlier in the free agent process, saying he had hoped the team would make an offer before other clubs jumped in. And, after Houston upped its original offer to promise Lin money that is unheard of for a guy who has played just 35 games, some speculated that Lin was ready to go to the Rockets, where he may also be a better fit with the team and community.
But Lin was reportedly blindsided when the Knicks looked to be moving away from re-signing him. New York has signed veteran point guard Jason Kidd, and the team scooped up former Knicks point guard Raymond Felton on Saturday, creating questions of what Lin's spot on the team would be.
"He did not see this happening," Lin's high school coach at Palo Alto High School, Peter Diepenbrock, told Yahoo! Sports. "He sounded surprised."
Lin has been working with Knicks assistant coach Kenny Atkinson in recent weeks and expected to return to the team, Diepenbrock told Yahoo.
"He loves the New York fans," he said. "To have the experience that he had for the two months and for that to be over with, that's quite a shock to the system. I think he really believed the Knicks would match whatever offer he got."
The Knicks have certain salary cap concerns that would entangle bringing Lin back, but they appeared to muddy the situation first by signing outside help at the point guard position. They also apparently spent much of Saturday avoiding the Rockets' official offer sheet, and now the team's stars are criticizing the size of Lin's would-be contract.
The Knicks may be making the decision already, no matter what Lin prefers.