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Why Are Other NBA Players Criticizing Jeremy Lin's Contract? Has This Ever Happened Before?

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This question originally appeared on Quora.

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By Andres Alvarez, Editor at the Wages of Wins Journal

From Melo's perspective it's two fold:
1. He's only looking at Lin's 3rd year, where he'll be getting $14.5 and not the contract as a whole.
2. He calls it ridiculous because he realizes the offer was made just to keep New York from matching (see below)

The key reason Lin's contract seems "ridiculous" is because of the Gilbert Arenas Provision (http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap....) To allow teams to keep their second rounders and undrafted players, player salaries are constrained through their fourth season. Once they hit their fifth year, their salary is no longer constrained.

The premise behind this provision was to let teams keep their second round picks that turned into superstars (e.g. Gilbert Arenas, Carlos Boozer, Monta Ellis) and not worry about them being signed away with contracts they couldn't match.

The new CBA has also added a change to the luxury tax law that means every additional $5 million over the luxury cap, you're dinged even more.

What Daryl Morey has been doing is using these two things together to make "poison pill" contracts. In essence he's offering players contracts that will end up costing their team $14 million + millions more in cap hit in their third year in an effort to get them not to match. http://wagesofwins.com/2012/07/1...

In reality, Lin is probably not getting overpaid, that's because it's impossible to even pay him an average salary his first two seasons of his new contract. However, he is likely not worth $14.5 million a year (what he's getting his third year) and the only reason he's offered this is because it makes it virtually impossible for the Knicks to match (as we saw).

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By Wray Rives, CPA CGMA

Some of the primary reasons:
  1. It is a forgone conclusion NY is not going to pay to keep Lin, and everyone with NY wants to establish that this is still Melo's team.
  2. Most of Lin's amazing stats came while Anthony was out injured, his streak pretty much ended with Anthony's return. Even though everyone knows it is Melo's team, Melo does not want to be seen as the reason a fan favorite left, so he wants everyone focused on the money, not him and team politics.
  3. Houston is overpaying for Lin for pure marketing reasons. Their capacity numbers have fallen every year since Yao's last injury free season from 97% to low 80%. I think this is the first time an NBA team has overpaid for an unproven, possibly only average player strictly for marketing reasons. In the past, they always overpaid for a marquee player who also happened to have proven great ball skills. I imagine there is some fear among NBA elite that this could signal a shift in owners starting to solely value a player's ability to put butts in the seats as much as ability to put butts in the seats and play ball.
Regarding point 3, I don't believe it is a shift, but rather a unique situation where the right former star, Yao, paved the way for the right new guy, Lin, to come in and sell some tickets. But remember the line from Moneyball about when someone challenges their way of life, "the guys holding the reins and with their hand on the switch go bat-shit crazy?" That happens in basketball too.

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By Nick Pritzakis, Nicks Fan

I have no clue. But it's not cool, if you ask me. Those guys are paid to play the game, not to be arm chair GMs.

Jeff Van Gundy, in an ESPN radio interview, mentioned that it was odd for players to judge other contracts ... and usually they are supportive of the deals they get.

One thing is for sure, Melo and JR know more about Lin's game then anyone in the media. They've practiced with the dude ... and they have a better idea of what he can do. But they were definitely hating on him by making those comments.

Maybe they knew he wasn't going to sign, and they just wanted to soften the blow and prepare the fans ... not sure.

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