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Linsanity may be leaving New York after Felton deal

NEW YORK--Linsanity could be heading to Houston after the New York Knicks and the Portland Trail Blazers agreed to a deal that will add Raymond Felton to the Knicks' point-guard rotation, ESPN reported early Sunday.

The Knicks had insisted since the end of the NBA season that they would re-sign Taiwanese American point guard Jeremy Lin, who injected life into the struggling franchise in February and quickly became a fan favorite and international star.

But the arrival of the 28-year-old Felton could indicate that the Houston Rockets' offer sheet of US$25 million over three years signed by Lin may be too expensive for the Knicks' salary structure.

The three-year, US$10 million sign-and-trade deal between the Knicks and Trail Blazers will bring Felton and veteran center Kurt Thomas to New York in exchange for center Dan Gadzuric and forward Jared Jeffries, ESPN reported.

The New York Daily News also reported that Felton had told WPDE-TV, the ABC affiliate in South Carolina, that the Knicks were no longer pursuing Lin.

New York now has three point guards — Felton, Pablo Prigioni and Jason Kidd, who signed a three-year, US$9.5 million deal earlier this month with the Knicks and said he looked forward to mentoring Lin.

With three point guards on the roster, keeping Lin would make little sense for the Knicks.

The club may have been scared off by the offer sheet from the Rockets, which offered Lin affordable salaries of US$5 million in the first year and US$5.225 million in the second year, but a very high US$14.8 million in the 2014-2015 season.

The ESPN report said a source close to the Lin-Houston talks said the Knicks officially received the offer sheet Saturday night. They will have three days, until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, to match the offer.

Earlier Saturday, the Houston Chronicle reported that Rockets officials and couriers had been unsuccessful in several attempts since Friday afternoon to deliver the offer sheet to Knicks General Manager Glen Grunwald.

According to NBA rules, an offer sheet must be physically delivered before the three-day countdown begins.

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